Coronavirus: Enforcement action taken against 21 workplaces due to lack of safe distancing measures

No safe distancing at common area. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
No safe distancing of 1m between workstations. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
No demarcation for safe distancing in pantry area. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
No sign or marking on 1m safe distancing at meeting room. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
The Ministry of Manpower reminded all employers to place their employees on work-from-home arrangements wherever possible. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Enforcement action has been taken against 21 workplaces which have failed to comply with government advisories on safe distancing measures to reduce the risk of local transmission of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement on Monday (March 23).

Thirteen stop-work orders and eight remedial orders were issued to workplaces which disregarded the need for safe distancing on Monday in the first day of enforcement, MOM said.

These orders will be in place until rectifications are made.

The inspections target workplaces with large groups of workers, such as factories, construction sites, shipyards as well as collaborative workplaces.

MOM also noted that some companies have also adopted other precautionary measures to protect workers' well-being, such as temperature screening.

The ministry reminded all employers to place their employees on work-from-home arrangements wherever possible, especially for vulnerable employees such as older workers, pregnant workers and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

For roles which require the worker to return to the company, employers should ensure wider physical spacing of at least 1m for work stations and seats in meeting rooms, pantries, rest areas and other congregation points, MOM said.

They should also reduce duration and proximity of physical interactions, stagger working hours, defer non-critical work events and scale down critical work events, and implement or enhance shift or split team operations, MOM added in the statement.

Safe distancing measures should also be clearly communicated to all workers.

"Such measures may require businesses to adjust work processes but are necessary to suppress the spread of Covid-19 and protect our community. We also urge employees to practise social responsibility and stay safe by maintaining good personal hygiene and safe distancing," the commissioner for workplace safety and health, Mr Silas Sng, said.

MOM said that these inspections will continue and appropriate enforcement actions against non-compliant workplaces will be taken.

Meanwhile, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a similar advisory on Monday to all financial institutions in Singapore, advising them to implement safe distancing measures in all aspects of their business operations, especially customer touch points.

Financial institutions were advised to encourage all customers to use electronic platforms for financial transactions, limit the number of people waiting at their premises, prioritise service to vulnerable customers as well as collect details of visitors for contact tracing purposes, MAS said.

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