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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Phone app alerts CPR-trained people to cardiac arrest cases

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

A new smartphone application alerts people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to nearby cardiac arrest cases, and a map of all public automated external defibrillators (AED).

These are among initiatives being introduced by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as part of its efforts to leverage technology to respond faster to emergencies and save lives.

The CPR mobilisation app and defibrillators registry were unveiled at the SCDF Annual Workplan Seminar on Thursday, alongside other new tools, such as an unmanned firefighting and rescue vehicle, which also doubles as a forklift or bulldozer.

"Like all of our Home Team, we are challenged by the situation of tight labour within our workforce," said Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli, who was speaking at the event held at the Institute of Technical Education College Central.

"We have to expand the capabilities of SCDF, not just through manpower expansion as demands on them grow, but also through innovation."

The innovations by the "life-saving force" also extend to tapping full-time national servicemen as well as the wider community more.

The defibrillator registry, for instance, is being set up in partnership with the Singapore Heart Foundation, and SCDF will work with training centres to sign up people who are CPR-certified to build a critical mass for the phone app. — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network

Property firm wants workers to go back early

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

It pays to leave work early at property valuation firm GSK Global. Those who finish their tasks with few errors by 7pm every day are rewarded with pay rises, bonuses and more days off.

And they get fewer days off and little or no bonuses when they are inefficient.

"I get upset if I see employees staying in the office after 7pm," said boss Eric Tan, 47. "It shows that they are either inefficient or are not focused."

Unfortunately, there are not enough firms in Singapore that pay close attention to long working hours, said human resource analysts, employers and workers.

Far too often, firms demand results and neglect work processes, leading to extra-long work hours.

"Workers can get overwhelmed if they have many things to do. But not many bosses are giving them guidance in planning and prioritising their tasks," said Singapore Human Resources Institute president Erman Tan.

The issue of excessive long hours causing more young professionals to burn out was highlighted in a Straits Times report earlier this week. Experts said the problem is that the work-life schemes at most firms, such as flexi-work and work-from-home options, offer flexibility but do not lead to shorter work hours.

Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said technology is more a bane than boon.

"You can be at home but still working all the time with your mobile phone or laptop. Of course, you won't feel rested," he said.

This is where bosses must step in, said analysts. A suggestion is to have rules on e-mail after work hours. France, for instance, announced last week that it will implement a law to stop some 250,000 workers in the technology and consultancy sectors from replying to e-mails after 6pm.

GSK Global's Mr Tan said such rules are useful only if they are enforced. "When I see my staff talking about work in our company's WhatsApp group or replying to e-mails in the evenings, I will tell them to stop." — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network


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