Actions Taken Against 21 Workplaces in S’pore That Didn’t Enforce Social Distancing

This is truly a blessed time for me, as I had been practising social distancing way before this pandemic started.

Especially at work, where this was pretty much my reaction to anyone approaching me:

Image: Giphy

But now that social distancing is the norm…

Me every day. / Image: Giphy

In case you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, then you should read this article we wrote explaining social distancing and why we should do it.

Reminder: the Ministry of Health also sent an advisory for stricter safe distancing measures on 20 Mar 2020, of which workplaces are also included.

Workplaces should stagger working hours, reduce duration and proximity of physical interactions, and defer non-critical events and scale down critical work events.

And the most logical conclusion to work… is that we’re even taking measures like work from home.

Image: Giphy

YEAH, PREACH! THIS IS HOW WE WORK IN THE 21ST CENTURY BABY!

But really, this is quite a serious thing to practice right now. Unless getting COVID-19 is somehow your life goal, I guess.

And the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is making sure that this ain’t just some playing around.

It’s real serious shit.

13 Stop-work Orders (SWOs) and 8 Remedial Orders (ROs) Issued

By the MOM… right on the first day.

No play play here, it’s straight from the Workplace Safety and Health Act, and in the worst case, they can stop you from working indefinitely.

Realistically, they’ll just stop you until you remedy any danger, of course.

They had inspected factories, construction sites, shipyards, and offices including collaborative workspaces.

MOM noted that companies that implemented safe distancing measures also tend to adopt other precautionary measures like temperature screening.

So Once Again, A Reminder to Employers

All employers should place employees on work from home arranges when possible, especially for vulnerable employees (e.g. old, pregnant, or employees with pre-existing medical conditions).

If it’s not possible:

  • Provide wider physical spacing (at least 1 metre apart) for workstations, meeting rooms, pantries, rest areas (everywhere lah)
  • Reduce the duration and proximity of physical interactions
  • Stagger working hours
  • Defer non-critical work events and scale down critical work events
  • Shift or split team arrangements

The measures put into place also need to be communicated to employees. Duh.

The commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health, Mr Silas Sng, also said,

“Employers must do their part to safeguard employees’ well-being by adopting safe distancing measures at workplaces during this critical period. 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.”

In other words, don’t play play or gahmen come visit you.


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Image: Giphy

To employees: obviously you guys also have to comply lah.

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