COVID-19: 26 builders ordered to stop work for failing to perform SafeEntry check-in

COVID-19: 26 builders ordered to stop work for failing to perform SafeEntry check-in

More than 65 builders have been found to have flouted COVID-19 safe management measures since the start of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) on May 16, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Wednesday (Jun 2). Chua Tian Tian reports.

SINGAPORE: More than 65 builders have been found to have flouted COVID-19 safe management measures since the start of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) on May 16, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Wednesday (Jun 2).

Among these builders, 26 had allowed workers or visitors to enter their worksites without performing SafeEntry check-ins at the site entrances.

"These included two sites which had let in workers who were subsequently found to be COVID-positive," said BCA in a media release. 

BCA said it has heightened its enforcement stance and stepped up checks at construction sites, going from 300 inspections a week from last June to more than 900 a week currently. 

This is done “to ensure that builders are doing their part to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among the construction workforce", the authority said.

BCA issued three-day stop-work orders to the builders who failed to ensure that workers or visitors checked in before entering their worksites.

Under these stop-work orders, all activities at a worksite have to be halted until builders review their safe management measures plan, rectify non-compliances and submit a compliance report to BCA.

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“Sites that are found with COVID-positive cases will need to do a thorough disinfection before works can resume,” BCA said.

In addition to the lax deployment of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry or the failure to enforce SafeEntry check-ins at worksite entrances, several other non-compliances were found by BCA.

These include having workers without BCA’s approval performing works on site, workers not adhering to safe distancing or not wearing masks, and worksites lacking proper zonal segregation.

BCA also said that it has stepped up its enforcement stance on builders who fail to appoint safe management officers or safe distancing officers to escort and supervise workers or visitors who work or provide services at multiple worksites.

“The safe management officers or safe distancing officers would need to ensure that these workers or visitors do not intermingle with the workforce and that all safe management measures are strictly adhered to throughout their stay on site,” BCA said.

“Sites that are found to have (flouted) this requirement will be issued three-day stop-work orders.”

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Under BCA’s heightened enforcement stance, errant builders may also be fined and charged in court.

“BCA takes a serious view of any failure to comply with safe management measures in worksites,” it said.

“As any non-compliance can easily undermine the efforts and good work of the rest of the industry in combating the transmission of COVID-19, BCA has heightened our enforcement stance against builders which are found to be non-compliant with COVID-19 laws.

“Builders with worksites that are found to be non-compliant will be issued longer stop-work orders, composition fines up to S$2,000 or face prosecution.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said that two worksites allowed workers who tested positive for COVID-19 to enter. BCA has updated its media release to clarify that the workers who were let in were subsequently found to be COVID-positive. 

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Source: CNA/kg(ta)

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