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Safe Management Measures

Information available from Ministry of Manpower Singapore- (only an excerpt)

From 2 June 2020, the circuit breaker will come to an end. Singapore will embark on a three-phased approach to resume activities safely. Among many measures to minimise the risk of widespread re-emergence of COVID-19 in the community, we will need enhanced safe management practices at workplaces. Effective implementation of these measures will also help to avoid the need to restore tight restrictive measures subsequently.

  1. The tripartite partners – the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) – are issuing details of Safe Management Measures for employers allowed to resume operations. These requirements are meant for general workplace settings. Specific workplaces like construction worksites may have to fulfil additional requirements.

  2. Agencies including MOM, Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) will step up enforcement and take action against errant employers. These may include issuing stop-work orders and financial penalties.
    Safe Management Measures

  3. To ensure COVID-safe workplaces, employers should take care of:

    1. Your workers;

    2. Your workplaces, and;

    3. Those who may become unwell at your workplaces.

  4. Actively enable employees to work from home.​

    1. For employees who are still unable to work from home, employers should review work processes, provide the necessary IT equipment to employees and adopt solutions that enable remote working and online collaboration. Employers are encouraged to leverage technology to ensure business continuity and safe management.

    2. Companies should continue to conduct virtual meetings as much as possible. Physical meetings between employees and with suppliers / contractors must be minimised, e.g. by using tele-conferencing facilities.

    3. Employers must cancel or defer all events or activities that involve close and prolonged contact amongst participants, e.g. conferences, seminars and exhibitions.

    4. Companies should pay special attention to vulnerable employees (e.g. older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions). Besides enabling them to work from home, employers may also have to temporarily redeploy vulnerable employees to another role within the company.

  5. Working from home must be the default mode of working (including companies resuming operations in Phases One and Two). Employees who have been working from home so far must continue to do so, and go to the office only where there is no alternative.

  6. For job roles or functions where employees cannot work from home4, employers must ensure the following precautions are in place prior to resuming operations:

    1. Stagger work and break hours – to reduce possible congregation of employees at all common spaces, including entrances, exits, lobbies, canteens and pantries.

      1. Staggered work hours must be implemented over at least three 1-hourly blocks, with no more than half of the employees reporting to work within each block. For example, if the normal work hours are from 9am to 6pm, employers could stagger employees to work from 8am to 5pm (40% of staff), 9am to 6pm (20% of staff), 10am to 7pm (40% of staff). Timings of lunch and other breaks must also be staggered accordingly.

      2. Where possible, work hours should enable more employers to avoid peak-hour travel, especially if employees require the use of public transport.

      3. If it is not feasible to implement staggered work and break hours due to operational reasons (e.g. manufacturing production line activities), employers must implement other systems to reduce congregation of employees at common spaces5.

    2. Implement shift or split team arrangements: For suitable workplace settings, employers must split employees at workplace premises into teams, with each team restricted to one worksite wherever possible. No employee should work in more than one team or worksite.

      1. No cross-deployment or interaction between employees in different shifts, teams or worksites, even outside of work. Employers must ensure clear separation of employees on different shifts or split teams, such as implementing human traffic management measures and stepping up cleaning of common areas during shift or split team changeovers.

      2. If cross-deployment cannot be avoided (e.g. due to the nature of the job), additional safeguards must be taken to minimise the risk of cross infection.

  7. Minimise socialising

    1. Employers must ensure that employees do not socialise or congregate in groups at the workplace7, including during meals or breaks. Employees should have meals or breaks on their own.

    2. All social gatherings (e.g. birthday celebrations, team bonding activities, etc.) at the workplace must be cancelled or deferred.

    3. Employers should not organise social gatherings outside the workplace and should also remind their employees not to socialise outside of the workplace, both during or outside working hours (e.g. going out together for lunch, dinner, breaks or drinks), including with colleagues from separate teams / shifts / worksites.

  8. Wear masks at the workplace: Employers must ensure that all onsite personnel, including employees, visitors, suppliers and contractors, wear a mask and other necessary personal protective equipment8 at all times at the workplace, except during activities that require masks to be removed.9

    1. Employers must ensure that it has sufficient masks for all employees, including any need to replace masks due to workplace conditions (e.g. humidity).

    2. Where possible, employers should consider improving the working environment for employees to enable them to sustain wearing the masks.

  9. Observing good personal hygiene: Employers should encourage their employees to observe good personal hygiene, e.g. wash their hands regularly and refrain from touching their face.

    B. Take care of the workplace

  10. Control access at the workplace to only essential employees and authorised visitors. Employers must use the SafeEntry visitor management system to record the entry of all personnel (including employees and visitors) entering the workplace. All employees and visitors should check-in and check-out of workplaces using SafeEntry to help MOH in establishing potential transmission chains.

    1. Personnel who are unwell (including having a fever upon temperature screening) will be refused entry to the workplace.

    2. Visitors who are unwell must be asked to reschedule their appointments and return another day when they are well, or be served via alternate means.

  11. Employees and visitors must declare via SafeEntry or other means (e.g. electronic or hard copy records), before being allowed to enter premises, that they:

    1. Are currently not under a quarantine order, stay-home notice;

    2. Have not had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days; and

    3. Do not have any fever or flu-like symptoms.

  12. Adhere to travel advisories: Employers should ensure that their employees adhere to MOH’s prevailing travel advisory.

  13. Where physical interaction cannot be avoided, precautions should be taken to ensure clear physical spacing of at least 1 metre between persons at all times through the following:

    1. Employers must demarcate safe physical distances (at least 1m apart) at the workplace premises with visual indicators or through physical means13. This must also be applied to common spaces14, where congregation or queuing of employees or visitors / clients might occur, where reasonably practicable.

    2. If there is a critical need for physical meetings to proceed, employers should limit the number of attendees and shorten their durations.

    3. Employers who are service buyers should also require their suppliers / contractors to implement similar safe distancing measures, so that operations and business interactions with these suppliers / contractors are kept safe. Where physical interactions are still necessary, e.g. delivery of goods, employers must adopt precautionary measures such as scheduling delivery times by different suppliers in a staggered manner. The durations of such transactions should be kept as short as possible.

There is more information on Safe Management Measures on Ministry of Manpowers website

The full text and information on Safe Management Measures is readily available on Ministry of Manpower's website- please visit MOM

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