MOM reminder: Don't put your maid in danger

Siti Kalimatus Saadah recovering at Tan Tock Seng Hospital after surviving a nine-storey fall from her employer's flat in Bukit Pajnang. [Inset: In an unrelated incident, reader Khin Maung Myint witnessed this daredevil stunt at Block 159, Yung Loh Road in Jurong, when he was visiting his sister in 2006.]

She fell nine storeys and survived.

Last year, Indonesian maid Siti Kalimatus Saadah fell out of the window of her employer's flat along Jelapang Road as she tried to take in some clothes.

The 24-year-old was alone in the kitchen, retrieving clothes from a bamboo pole when she lost her balance.When she came to, she was in hospital.

She is not the only maid to have fallen out of a window.

Six deaths have already occurred from such falls in the first three months of this year.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is concerned and has reminded employers and the public to pro-actively ensure that their maids are not placed in a position where their safety is jeopardised.

There are about 200,000 maids working here.

From 2007 to 2011, 24 maids died after falling from aheight while they were cleaning windows or hanging laundry.

There were 45 non-fatal falls in the same period.

A trauma and general surgeon at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), Dr Teo Li Tserng, has published a study on high-impact falls involving maids.

In an earlier interview, he said the yearly number of fall victims has been relatively low, considering the annual increase in the number of maids.

Dr Teo had looked at a total of 53 maids who were admitted to TTSH's emergency department for treatment following high-impact falls between 2001 and the middle of 2010.

About 45 per cent of these falls were accidental, 35 per cent were intentional, and the rest were of indeterminate cause.

Of the maids admitted, 68 per cent were from Indonesia.

But how common is a near-incident?

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