Recent data from a Ministry of Manpower survey stated that Singaporeans work about 45.1 hours a week in 2017. ( For those who work 5 days a week, this means that they will spend about 9 hours of work a day. This represents 36.8% of time of an average Singaporean worker during his waking hour in a week. (

 This means that a significant amount of time is spent at work. No wonder work can affect someone's health!


How to know that your employees are healthy?


1. Before employing any person

It would be good practice for any employer to have a medical declaration from the person that they are employing. While such information is confidential, it would be good for the employer to understand if there are any major illnesses that the employee might have as it can impact the work he or she can perform. Most companies have health insurance for their workers and this can affect the premiums being paid if any of the workers have any major medical issues.

A person’s health can affect his work. Depending on the type of work he or she is asking for, issues relating to one’s own health can definitely affect his work performance and ability while at work.

The type of work can also affect a person’s health. This is related to the types of hazards that can be present at the workplace. Jobs requiring someone to walk around a lot may impair those with medical conditions such as heart disease or stroke. Even jobs that are mostly sedentary can cause issues to the worker due to hours spent in front of the computer screen that can affect eyesight and back pain due to poor back posture while sitting.

It would be good for them to see the doctor for a pre-employment medical screening to ensure that the person is fit for the type of work that the company needs them to do.

In Singapore, such workplace health issues is regulated by the Workplace Health and Safety Act. In essence, much of the regulations states that the employer or occupier of the worksite is responsible for the health of its employees or those that are working at a particular workplace.


2. For the employee

You can request your employee to do a regular screening at a recommended frequency. A one-off screening will only pick up health conditions that are present at the time of screening. Regular screening helps to detect conditions that may develop after the previous screening. Hence, it is important for you to go for regular screening tests at the frequency determined by the doctor. He or she would look at the likelihood of certain diseases occurring in the community or follow guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

For workplace health issues, it would be good to ask for recommendations from Designated Workplace Doctors. These are doctors who have additional qualifications that allows them to be registered with the Ministry of Manpower. They are allowed to check for hazards that are mandated by the Workplace Health and Safety Act to be monitored by companies.