MOM Spotchecks Companies For Safe Distancing Measures, 13 Errant Firms Told To Stop Work

MOM Issues Remedial Orders To 7 Companies On 1st Day Of Safe Distancing Spotcheck

As the number of Covid-19 cases surges in Singapore, the government introduced a series of social distancing measures to hopefully contain the spread of the virus.

Some of the measures introduced last Friday (20 Mar) targetted workplaces and urged employers to minimise physical interactions between staff.

40 New Covid-19 Cases On 20 Mar, 30 Are Imported Cases Mostly Involving S’poreans & PRs

To ensure that companies are complying with the measures, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) launched enforcement operations on Monday (23 Mar).

Within that day alone, MOM issued 13 stop-work orders and 8 remedial orders to errant companies.

MOM orders will be in place till corrections are made

According to MOM, the operations targetted “workplaces where groups of workers congregate“.

No safe distancing at common area 
Image from MOM

These workplaces included:

  • Construction sites
  • Factories
  • Offices (including collaborative work spaces)
  • Shipyards

On the first day of inspection, 21 companies which “disregarded the need for safe distancing” received stop-work and remedial orders accordingly.

No safe-distancing between workstations 
Image from MOM

Under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, a company issued a stop-work order would have to cease operations immediately.

Those issued remedial orders would have to implement measures to fulfill the guidelines put in place by the government.

These orders will be in place until the errant firms correct their work processes.

Other companies introduce precautionary measures

On the other hand, MOM noted that other companies have introduced good precautionary practices, such as temperature screening, to safeguard their employees’ well-being.

Temperature screening at entrance of building
Image from MOM

Some have also started conducting meetings via video-conferencing.

Meeting conducted via video-conferencing
Image from MOM

Demarcations have also been made in some office buildings to minimise workers from coming into close contact with one another.

Clear demarcations placed in front of a security counter
Image from MOM

MOM urges companies to follow safe distancing measures

In the same statement, MOM reiterated the measures introduced last Friday concerning workplaces in Singapore.

In light of the escalating Covid-19 situation, employers should allow their staff to work from home, as much as possible.

This is especially vital for older and pregnant employees, as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions.

In the event that work-from-home arrangements are not feasible, companies should consider the following options for their employees:

  • Wider physical spacing of at least 1-metre
  • Staggered working hours
  • Reduced duration and proximity of physical interactions
  • Postpone non-critical events and reduce scale of critical work events
  • Implement shift or split team arrangements.

MOM urges companies to adopt such safe-distancing measures to safeguard their employees’ well-being amid the Covid-19 outbreak. These measures will no doubt bring about inconvenience but are necessary to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Hope companies will take safe distancing measures seriously

We hope companies in Singapore will heed MOM’s advice and will take the safe distancing measures seriously.

While companies will likely find it troublesome with such measures in place, these are only short-term if we look at the bigger picture.

After all, the sooner we contain the spread of Covid-19, the sooner all of us can resume our normal lives and business operations.

Featured image adapted from Ministry of Manpower. 

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