Unvaccinated workers in construction sites must be clearly identified from Aug 16: BCA

Officers in charge of safety at construction sites will also have to ensure that they check the vaccination status of a person before he enters the worksite. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - People who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will have to wear visual identifiers when they are at construction worksites from Aug 16, as part of new measures to contain the coronavirus.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Thursday (Aug 5) that this requirement will also apply to those who have not completed their vaccination regime, as well as those whose vaccinations have not taken effect.

These people will have to wear a "unique visual identifier" at all times when they are at the worksite, said BCA in a circular sent to industry associations.

The advisory did not specify what kind of identifier this would be, but some examples used by visitors or roving sub-contractors to sites include coloured vests, armbands and stickers on helmets.

Officers in charge of safety at construction sites will also have to ensure that they check the vaccination status of a person before he enters the worksite. They will also have to closely supervise unvaccinated individuals at all times when they are on-site, and ensure that they comply with safe management measures.

These measures come amid new infections of Covid-19 among workers from construction firms, some of which have become clusters of the disease. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health announced a cluster linked to construction firm Kian Hiap Construction.

"There have been new cases of Covid-19 infection in Singapore involving workers from the construction sector," said BCA.

"As the worksites were visited by workers diagnosed with Covid-19, BCA has ordered works at these worksites to stop, so that the worksites can be disinfected and relevant contractors can review and tighten their plans for safe management measures to be implemented at the worksites."

The authority urged the industry to be on high alert and extra vigilant to minimise the potential risk of the virus spreading at construction sites.

Currently, safe management officers are required to ensure that safe management measures are implemented at worksites, and that all people at these sites comply with them.

These officers, along with safe distancing officers, must also closely supervise any visitors or roving sub-contractors, who already now have to wear unique visual identifiers throughout their visit and work only in designated zones, separate from workers.

In addition to safe management measures, firms should also consider taking further steps to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission at their worksites, said BCA.

It strongly encourages developers and contractors to pilot an antigen rapid test (ART) regime to complement the rostered routine testing regime that all workers currently follow.

BCA said on its website that worksites will be provided with ART kits at no cost during the pilot period, and that supervisory training for ARTs is currently offered at a subsidised rate.

On July 8, BCA said it had worked with the construction sector and piloted ARTs at more than 50 worksites since May 31. A total of about 7,000 such tests have been successfully administered at these sites.

The authority on Thursday recommended that firms segregate workers residing in dormitories by the projects that they work on, and have deliveries loaded or unloaded by on-site workers and not delivery personnel where possible.

BCA also advised firms to, where feasible, plan for workers or visitors who operate for short durations at worksites, and who may visit multiple sites, to carry out their site visits and tasks outside the work hours of the main workforce.

It suggested that roving sub-contractors work in a segregated zone, at least 2m apart from other segregated teams of workers on-site.

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