Woman filmed on video cleaning windows along HDB ledge, 11 floors up


Mandy How | February 06, 2018, 03:36 PM

[UPDATED at 8:35pm to include a statement in response to this report from the Ministry of Manpower]

The last time somebody walked along the window ledge, she almost fell due to a misstep:

More recently, an unidentified woman was recorded on film cleaning the windows of a HDB apartment from the external window ledge.

She was perched on a stool, 11 floors up.

You can watch a 33-second video taken by someone in an opposite block here:

[video width="220" height="400" mp4="https://static.mothership.sg/1/2018/02/maid-cleaning-window.mp4"][/video]

After walking a short distance along the narrow ledge, she proceeds to kick a pail aside and stand on a stool to reach the windows.

The video, which was originally circulating on WhatsApp, was also uploaded to Facebook on Saturday, Feb. 3.

While it is not clear if the woman appearing in the video is a domestic worker or a homeowner, the Facebook post has since gathered more than 7,000 shares, with a significant amount of it by Filipinos and Indonesians.


Now, it’s entirely possible that this could be a lady just doing her spring cleaning ahead of Chinese New Year, so we can’t be completely sure something bad is happening here.

We checked with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to find out if they are aware of any reports from members of the public about this, and they’ve told us:

“Should this be a case of a foreign domestic worker window-cleaning in a high-rise building and her safety is at risk, MOM will intervene.”

Illegal for maids to clean exterior windows

In a statement released on Jun. 4, 2012, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it banned all foreign domestic workers from cleaning the exterior of windows unless "strict safety conditions" are in place.

The conditions are:

1)  The employer or an adult representative has to be physically present to supervise the FDW;

2) Window grilles are installed and are locked at all times during the cleaning process.

This applies to all homes, except for windows that are at the ground level or along common corridors.

Employers who are convicted of violating these rules are liable to be fined up to S$5,000 and/or jailed up to six months.


In that same vein, anyone who might have observed something similar happening and might have cause for concern—particularly if it is clear it involves a domestic helper— can get in touch with the following hotlines:

1) Ministry of Manpower, 1800 339 5505 (local callers, weekday only)

2) HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics), 1800-797 7977 / +65 6341 5525

3) TWC2 (Transient Workers Count Too), 1800 888 1515

Top image from video. 

Here’s a totally unrelated but equally interesting story:

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