COVID-19: MOM penalises 21 firms for failure to 'social distance'

The ministry is inspecting workplaces to ensure they comply with safe distancing guidelines

COVID-19: MOM penalises 21 firms for failure to 'social distance'

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued 13 stop-work orders (SWO) and 8 remedial orders (RO) to workplaces which failed to put in place safe distancing measures.

MOM yesterday (23 March) commenced enforcement operations to ensure companied complied with government advisories on measures to reduce the risk of local transmission of COVID-19.

The inspections target workplaces which facilitate congregation, such as factories, construction sites, shipyards as well as offices including collaborative workspaces.

MOM reminded employers to place their employees on work from home arrangements wherever possible, especially for vulnerable employees – including older workers, pregnant employees, and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

READ MORE: Covid-19: Tips for successful remote working

For job roles where it isn’t feasible for the employee to work from home, employers should:

  • Provide wider physical spacing, at least 1m apart, at offices
  • Reduce/discourage face-to-face interactions
  • Stagger working hours
  • Defer non-critical work events and scale down critical work events
  • Implement shift or split team arrangements

Employers should also clearly communicate and explain the safe distancing measures put in place to employees, said MOM.

“Employers must do their part to safeguard employees’ well-being by adopting safe distancing measures at workplaces during this critical period,” said Silas Sng, Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health at MOM.

“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.”

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