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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) updated their advisory on safe distancing measures at the workplace on March 26, in line with The Ministry of Health’s announcement on March 24.

Under this advisory, employers must now ensure employees are telecommuting from home, wherever possible.

If telecommuting is not feasible, here are the following precautions employers must take:

Reduce need for and duration of physical interactions.

Ensure clear physical spacing of at least 1m apart at work premises.

Stagger working hours.

Defer or cancel all events.

Implement shift or split team arrangements.

MOM officers have visited over 100 companies in the past four days. 34 of the companies were issued with Stop Work Orders (SWO).

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Image from MOM

“Employers must place clear signages to ensure wider physical spacing (of at least 1m apart) for work stations and meeting rooms. The same safe distancing measures should also apply to common spaces, such as entrances/exits, lifts, pantries, staff canteens and other congregation areas.

Enforcement actions will be taken, including ceasing operations until employers or occupiers put in place the stipulated measures.”

According to MOM, this is what an SWO entails.

“SWO is served to any person to immediately cease work in the workplace when there is an imminent danger to the safety and health of persons at work. It is issued with a set of instructions directing the recipient to take such measures to remedy any danger so as to enable resumption of work.”

Usually, an SWO will last two to three weeks so companies can resolve these issues. However, according to the post by MOM, companies were required to make immediate rectifications.

36 remedial orders were also issued.

Image from MOM