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Nearly 900 workplaces inspected for COVID-19 requirements in April, about 10 firms fined: MOM

Nearly 900 workplaces inspected for COVID-19 requirements in April, about 10 firms fined: MOM

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) inspector checks that workstations at a workplace are at least 1m apart. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore Ministry of Manpower)

SINGAPORE: About 900 workplaces have been inspected since the start of April to ensure that they have implemented COVID-19 safe management measures, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Saturday (Apr 24).

Fines have been issued to about 10 companies.

MOM provided the figures as it revealed that it had inspected the workplace of a recent COVID-19 community case.

“When such cases occur, MOM conducts checks to ensure that safe management measures are in place to prevent further workplace transmission,” the ministry said in a Facebook post.

“Several lapses were found during the inspection, including lack of demarcation for safe physical distancing, failure to appoint a safe management officer and failure to ensure regular temperature checks and proper control access for employees and visitors.”

MOM found that the use of SafeEntry was not enforced at the workplace. 

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) inspector checks the workplace of a COVID-19 community case to see if it has implemented safety precautions to limit physical interaction. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore Ministry of Manpower)

Additionally, the workplace lacked monitoring plans for safe management measures, inspection checklists and cleaning records, said the ministry.

"MOM will be ordering the workplace to close in view of these lapses," it added.

The ministry did not provide the name of the workplace.

"As this case is still under review, we will not be able to disclose further information," said a spokesperson in response to CNA's queries.

"The company will only be able to resume operations once MOM is satisfied that they have the necessary SMM (safe management measures) requirements in place to mitigate further workplace transmissions," the spokesperson added.

"Once the review is complete, MOM will mete out the necessary punishments."

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) inspector finds lapses in the implementation of safe management measures: A lack of safe distancing demarcation in a meeting room and chairs placed less than 1m apart. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore Ministry of Manpower)

In its Facebook post, MOM reiterated the importance of implementing safe management measures as more people in Singapore return to workplaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Employees, companies adjust as more return to the workplace

“As safe management measures requirements are progressively updated in line with the evolving COVID-19 situation, MOM will continue to step up enforcement efforts to ensure proper implementation of the prevailing safe management measures requirements at workplaces,” the ministry said.

“Although there have been some relaxation of workplace safe management measures requirements with effect from Apr 5, 2021, it is important that employers continue to provide a safe working environment for all.

“To safeguard livelihoods and businesses, we must continue to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission at workplaces by ensuring that all safe management measures requirements are strictly adhered to.”

READ: Some cleaning firms see higher demand as more people return to the workplace, but challenges remain

MOM also reminded employers that no more than 75 per cent of employees who are able to work from home can be at a workplace at any point in time, even though working from home is no longer the default.

“Non-compliant employers could be fined, prosecuted, or ordered to shut in cases of severe lapses,” MOM said.

A full list of requirements for safe management measures at workplaces is available on the MOM website.

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Source: CNA/kg(gs)

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