SINGAPORE — About a third of food delivery workers here had at least one accident requiring medical attention, and those who worked longer and earned more were more likely to encounter an accident.
Of the 1,002 food delivery workers surveyed by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in July and August, 16.1% said they had suffered an accident serious enough to require medical help.
About 9.4% were involved in two such crashes and 7% said they had three or more.
The IPS survey also revealed that 38.3% of delivery workers who worked 51 hours or more each week had encountered at least one accident.
At a press conference on Friday, November 4, the researchers said the findings were puzzling and echoed a poll conducted in October during a dialogue with around 60 rig workers, including those performing deliveries. In this informal survey, six out of 10 people said they had been injured on the job.
Dr Mathew Mathews, Principal Investigator and Head of the Social Lab at IPS, said: “This clearly shows us that if you take this job seriously enough and put in a lot of hours into it to get what will be a job decent. salary, then you are likely to have accidents.
An advisory committee, set up in 2021 by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to better protect platform workers, said it was examining whether the Workmen’s Compensation Act could be enforced to food delivery people to provide them with greater financial protection when injured.
The committee is expected to submit its recommendations to the government by the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, a set of guidelines for the delivery services sector was released for public consultation by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Board on October 28, after a series of fatal accidents involving delivery people brought the issue to light.
Between January 2021 and July 2022, five rig delivery workers died on the road, and the WSH Council also noted that the number of delivery workers among motorcycle accident fatalities has increased.
The latest IPS survey found that 17.7% of food delivery people who used motorbikes or e-bikes drove faster than normally allowed to boost their income. This group was more likely to encounter an accident.
Dr Mathews said: “Runners, we know, want to be responsible. But where there are concerns about salaries and earnings, people can sometimes resort to different methods… It is important that platform companies find ways to reward those who follow the rules.
The IPS survey also revealed that a majority of food delivery people were either unaware of or dissatisfied with the benefits offered by their platforms. These include medical benefits and personal accident insurance.
Meanwhile, 46.6% of food delivery workers surveyed thought paying a small association membership to represent and negotiate their interests would be better for their well-being.
About 39.5% of respondents were members of the National Delivery Champions Association (NDCA), but only 9.1% had sought help from the NDCA or similar associations.
Those who did have mostly requested cash assistance.