26 builders ordered to stop work for not ensuring SafeEntry check-in

BCA has stepped up its checks and conducted more than 900 inspections per week at construction worksites. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Twenty-six builders have been ordered to stop work for three days for flouting Covid-19 curbs.

They were among more than 65 builders found to have violated safe management measures since they were tightened on May 16.

In a statement on Wednesday (June 2), the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said the 26 builders were found to have allowed workers or visitors into their worksites without performing SafeEntry check-in at the site entrances.

These included two sites which had let in workers who did not check in and who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, thus complicating contact tracing efforts.

BCA issued three-day stop-work orders to these 26 builders to halt all activities on-site, as they had failed to ensure that workers or visitors checked in before entering the worksites.

The orders will be lifted after the builders review their safe-management plan, rectify all non-compliance and submit a compliance report to BCA.

Sites that Covid-19-positive cases visited will need to do thorough disinfection before works can resume, BCA added.

It has stepped up its checks and conducted more than 900 inspections per week at construction worksites to ensure that builders are doing their part to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission among the construction workforce, while keeping construction works going as much as possible.

The number of inspections is triple the average of 300 inspections that BCA conducted per week from June last year.

BCA said a key concern arising from its checks is the lack of rigour in deploying TraceTogether-only SafeEntry or ensuring SafeEntry check-in at worksite entrances.

The authority said it will also take stronger enforcement action against builders who do not appoint safe management officers or safe distancing officers to escort and supervise workers or visitors. These may include roving sub-contractors, delivery personnel and other service providers who perform works or services at multiple worksites.

The officers are to ensure that these workers or visitors do not intermingle with the workers there and that all safe management measures are strictly adhered to throughout their stay on site.

Sites that are found to have contravened this requirement will be issued three-day stop-work orders.

Other common non-compliance observed during the inspections includes having workers without BCA's approval performing works on site, personnel not adhering to safe distancing or not wearing masks, as well as worksites having no proper zonal segregation.

BCA said it takes a serious view of any failure to comply with safe management measures on worksites, adding that "any non-compliance can easily undermine the efforts and good work of the rest of the industry in combating the transmission of Covid-19".

Builders with worksites that have broken rules will be issued longer stop-work orders or fines of up to $2,000, or face prosecution.

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