Security industry manpower shortage in Singapore

It was announced this week by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore that the operational hours for those working in the Singapore security industry will significantly change in 2021.

Security officers long working hours

Security officers are known to work some of the longest hours out of any industry, up to 12hour shifts, 6 days a week. With a total of 95 hours overtime, which is above the 72-hour limit a month set out under the Employment Act, officers have very little personal time, coupled with mental, physical and social issues. It’s usual practice for overtime exemption (OTE) permit to be granted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to go above the 72- hour limit, but this will be abolished, with reports of discussion going back to 2017.

With illegal activity of officers given the option to work back-to-back shifts, there is a worry for many that their wages will significantly dip. They are currently increasing the wages for entry-level officers to minimum of S$1,400 and a security supervisor S$1,785.

Autonomous robot security and surveillance solutions

With agencies working to improve working conditions, this will only further increase in labour shortage. The COVID-19 situation is still a daily part of our lives and service buyers are in full motion planning for future manpower needs, especially since the stringent new border regulations for foreign workers. New plans will include hiring the use of autonomous security robots to fill the industry gap.

Autonomous security and surveillance robots like the O-R3 from OTSAW, make use of sensors and artificial intelligence where high productivity is an advantage, with 24-hour shifts and advanced machine-learning algorithms and 3D SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) technology to help with data-driven decisions.

OTSAW Security robot patrols a park in Singapore
Autonomous robots like the OTSAW O-R3 can perform security patrols and surveillance tasks

The ability to customise these autonomous security and surveillance robots to each company is a current market demand that is already in action. As the laws keep changing due to the global situation, robotics and artificial intelligence have been most certainly fast-tracked to deal with the contactless option providing assured safety above anything else where things still seem uncertain.

With companies worrying about rising cost, it is a common business practice that you will be able to hire autonomous robots on a monthly basis rather than owning a robot. With large facilities, that hire a number of security guards at any one given moment, the cost of hiring one security robot will cover monthly costs of 4 human security robots. This means long term savings on operational costs.

For more information please read more about the OTSAW O-R3.

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