As the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is reviewing the advisory on vaccination (MOM: Updated vaccination advisory soon for workers, Aug 20), are there also plans to review and update the safe management measures at the workplace in tandem with the nation's endemic Covid-19 road map?
Measures such as the 1m safe distance between workstations pose a challenge to some organisations. Pre-Covid-19 office settings were not designed for such a purpose, and companies have so far relied on work-from-home (WFH) or hybrid work arrangements to meet this requirement.
However, with a larger percentage of staff gradually allowed back in the office (and the possible lifting of WFH), organisations would have to either buy new furniture or acquire more office space in order to meet such requirements, especially for essential service staff who are required to be on-site most of the time.
As an administrative office setting is of relatively lower risk compared with other settings where mask-down activities, such as exercising or eating, take place, the collective suite of measures should be enough to keep the workplace safe.
Other mitigating factors, such as table dividers between workstations, or improving indoor air quality through air purifiers or having more natural ventilation, can possibly allow a relaxation of the 1m safe distancing rule at the workplace, as in the case of public transportation.
Soh Wee Sian