1. How do I know if I am classified as a Marine & Offshore (M&O) company and if the following FAQs apply to me?
These FAQs apply to companies in the M&O sector. It covers Shipyards, Resident Contractors and Common Contractors as per the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM)’s Marine Shipyard sector definition, and other companies under Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) codes 28112, 28241, 30110, 30120.
2. For M&O companies that are currently operating during the Circuit Breaker, what is the difference after 1 June 2020?
M&O companies that are currently operating under Circuit Breaker to provide essential ship repair and maintenance activities are allowed to continue without approval from Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), subject to earlier approved manning levels. Any increase in manning levels will require EDB/ESG’s approval. Refer to Table 1 of the Advisory for a Safe and Controlled Restart of the Marine & Offshore Sector from 2 June 2020.
Shipyards and Common Contractors which are currently allowed to operate must submit their Safe Management Plans demonstrating compliance with the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria, under the Application for Amendment function by 22 June 2020. Failure to do so by the stipulated date can result in a rescindment of your General Exemption.
3. What should I take note of when submitting the supplemental documentation for Earlier Permitted Activities by 22 June 2020?
Shipyards are required to submit their Safe Management Plans in compliance with the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria, including those of their resident contractors and common contractors needed to carry out on-site activities at the shipyards. Resident contractors are not required to make an independent submission, and should submit the relevant information together with their Sponsoring Shipyards. Shipyards’ plans should indicate what measures are taken to ensure that vessel owner representatives and other short-term visitors do not have direct interaction with other workers on the production sites.
Common contractors will need to make an independent submission for their Safe Management Plans in compliance with the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria.
The Safe Management Plans should include:
- A checklist declaration of whether the company will be able to meet the criteria listed in the Marine & Offshore Safe Restart Criteria, endorsed by the company’s management.
- Supporting documents only for specific criteria that state under the “What companies must show when requested” column in the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for companies to “Provide [documentation]…” (e.g. Provide monitoring plan for ensuring compliance with Safe Management Measures).
4. Which companies are required to comply with the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria?
The Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria will apply to all Shipyards (both sponsoring and non-sponsoring), Resident Contractors as well as Common Contractors.
5. If I am not a Shipyard, Resident Contractor or Common Contractor, do I need to comply with the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria?
The Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria only apply to Shipyards (both sponsoring and non-sponsoring), Resident Contractors as well as Common Contractors. Other companies are required to comply with MOM’s prevailing advisories.
6. How will checks be done to ensure that companies are complying with COVID-Safe Restart Criteria?
MOM will implement an Audit and Inspection regime to conduct checks and to ensure compliance on site based on relevant safe management measures.
Penalties will be imposed on firms which have contravened the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria or MOM’s Safe Management Measures, whichever relevant. In addition, firms will be required to resubmit their rectification plans, where applicable, and implement these measures as part of the follow ups to the enforcement actions taken.
7. What happens if a project is found to have a worker infected with COVID-19 after works have resumed?
Shipyards and contractors should immediately vacate and cordon-off the immediate section of the workplace premises where the confirmed case worked. There is no need to vacate the whole yard or building if there is no sustained and close contact with the confirmed case. Subsequently, carry out a thorough cleaning and disinfect all relevant on-site areas and assets exposed to confirmed cases, in accordance with the National Environment Agency’s (NEA’s) guidelines. Please refer to the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart criteria for further guidance on the handling of suspected and/or confirmed cases.
The whole team that the infected worker is from will have to be isolated and tested; works on site may be suspended.
Application to Resume M&O Works
1. How do I know if I can resume operations or increase manning after 1 June 2020?
For companies that are allowed to resume works in the first phase of reopening, EDB/ESG will notify them of the application process within the week of 1 June 2020. Companies that have not received any notification from EDB/ESG by then should expect to resume work at a later date. This is necessary to ensure a gradual resumption of activities and a gradual increase of workforce movement to prevent the resurgence of COVID-19.
2. If I have yet to receive any notification from EDB/ESG after the first week of June, when can I expect to be able to resume operations?
The reopening of the M&O sector will need to be graduated to prevent the resurgence of COVID-19. M&O companies currently without General Exemption can apply to resume operations from 1 July 2020 via MTI’s GoBusiness portal. At the point of filing for the General Exemption, companies will need to furnish details of the workers for whom they are seeking approval to return on-site. Where it involves foreign workers staying in dormitories, companies must verify that their workers are living in dormitories with COVID-19 free status and have COVID-19 free health status. Employers should refer to press releases from MOM regarding the status of dormitories, and also communicate with their workers to verify their health status.
Shipyards, Resident Contractors and Common Contractors will also need to submit their Safe Management Plans in accordance with the Marine & Offshore COVID-Safe Restart Criteria as part of your General Exemption application.
3. If I already have a General Exemption to operate under the Circuit Breaker and wish to increase manning levels, what should I do?
Any increase in manning levels will require EDB/ESG’s approval. Requests for increase in manning levels can be made via MTI’s GoBusiness portal from 1 July 2020. At the point of filing for the General Exemption, companies will need to furnish details of the workers for whom they are seeking approval to return on-site. Where it involves foreign workers staying in dormitories, companies must verify that their workers are living in dormitories with COVID-19 free status and have COVID-19 free health status. Employers should refer to press releases from MOM regarding the status of dormitories, and also communicate with their workers to verify their health status.
4. I am contracted by a Shipyard for certain jobs. How do I know if the Shipyard I am working at can resume works or increase manning and what is the application process I should undertake?
Contractors will be notified by their respective Shipyards if their works are approved by EDB/ESG for resumption in the first phase. Shipyards would be required to collate the relevant on-site workers information from their contractors and submit these in one application to EDB/ESG.
1. Where can I find resources to help me implement SafeEntry at my worksite?
On the deployment of SafeEntry, companies can refer to the SafeEntry website here for a full step-by-step guide and resources (including posters that can be displayed at scanning stations). FAQs and additional technical support are available here.
SafeEntry with checks specifically for the Construction, Marine & Offshore and Process sectors is available to ensure that your entry checks incorporate sector-specific requirements such as the fulfillment of regular swabbing requirements, and use of TraceTogether. To install SafeEntry with checks specifically for the CMP sectors, please refer to this user guide.
For access code related queries, companies can contact MOM here.
2. Who is responsible to enforce and ensure that all personnel in the Shipyard complies with COVID-Safe Worksite requirements?
The Shipyard operator is responsible for ensuring that all personnel (e.g. employees, contractors, clients, etc.) working on-site adhere to COVID-Safe Worksite requirements, and should work with its contractors to do so. Similarly, contractors will be responsible for their production sites outside of the Shipyards.
3. Can a Workplace Safety & Health Officer (WSHO) also be a Safe Management Officer (SMO)?
Yes, a WSHO can also be a SMO.
4. My worksite does not allow workers to hold on to mobile phones while at the work area due to safety/security reasons. Can I use other methods to replace TraceTogether?
All personnel entering the site must have a smart phone with TraceTogether app installed before they are allowed to enter the site. Workers should download, activate, and maintain the latest version of the TraceTogether mobile app to facilitate contact tracking. All personnel have to ensure that the TraceTogether app is turned on (i.e. Bluetooth is switched on) and that they carry their handphone with them at all times within the worksite, unless there are workplace health and safety risks and concerns. In the application to resume/ reinstate works or increase manning, the Shipyard and their contractors have to confirm that this requirement can be achieved.
5. Can a team be divided into sub-teams at the worksite?
Yes. Each sub-team will be treated as separate teams. Each sub-team will have to be segregated both at the place of accommodation as well as at the worksite from the other sub-teams even if they are doing the same activity. For example, if a worksite has 3 work locations e.g. vessels, each team will have to work within the designated zone and no exchange of workers between the 3 teams will be allowed.
6. Can a worksite be separated into 2 or more sub-sites?
Yes, a physical barrier or clear demarcation is to be implemented for each sub-site. The workers must also be housed in segregated accommodations. Within each sub-site, the same segregation requirements for each team working within a designated zone and segregation on the use of communal shared facilities will apply.
7. Are multiple accommodations allowed?
It is possible for workers of a worksite to be housed at one or more accommodations. All on-site accommodations at shipyards are required to be dedicated to the worksite.
1. Who would need to be regularly swab tested?
The following groups of employees are required to undergo regular swab tests:
- Those who work on the shipyards’ production site; and
- Those who work in shipyard contractors’ external production site e.g. workshop; and
- Those who stay in purpose-built dormitories, factory-converted dormitories, construction temporary quarters or temporary occupation license quarters
The above is applicable for Singaporeans, Singaporean Permanent Residents, Work Permit Holders, S Pass Holders and Employment Pass Holders.
EDB/ESG will inform relevant companies on the swab test arrangements. If any workers who are working are found to have missed regular testing, EDB/ESG reserves the right to withdraw any approval for resumption of works.
No. Only those that are working on production site and in contact with production site workers will have to be regularly swab tested.
3. Can employers make their own private arrangements for their employees to be tested?
Companies should not approach laboratories/hospitals to set up a private arrangement for these tests. Relevant companies will be contacted by EDB/ESG to arrange for their employees and contractors to be tested.
4. What is the situation around foreign workers dormitories? When can my workers leave the dormitory for work?
Companies may refer to MOM’s website for updated information on dormitory clearance here and MOM’s advisory to employers on safe living in foreign worker dormitories here.
5. What is the arrangement for foreign workers currently staying outside the dormitories? E.g. hotels, govt. decanted sites or other private residences.
As the resumption of M&O works will be phased out from 2 June 2020, only those deployed for critical maintenance/repair activities under Earlier Permitted Activities by MTI will continue to be able to work until EDB/ESG’s approval has been obtained for other works to resume.
6. Do I have to segregate my workers at their accommodation according to their projects and teams?
Yes. Companies must work with dormitory operators to segregate workers according to their worksites and teams so as to avoid inter-mixing.
Staggered Rest Day
1. Which companies will be affected by this requirement and will this be imposed on all employees within the company?
Only companies who employ foreign workers in the Marine Shipyard sector will be affected. Staggered rest days will apply to all Work Permit and S Pass holders hired under the Marine Shipyard account. Companies can check the category of their foreign workers via Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM’s) Work Permit Online platform here. Companies are required to adopt and implement the staggered rest day arrangement for these employees.
2. My Marine Shipyard account foreign workers are working in the office and not on the production site, are they required to follow the staggered rest day arrangement?
Yes, all Marine Shipyard account Work Permit and S Pass holders are included regardless of their assigned worksite and role. This will help to reduce crowding when they are out on personal activities on their rest days.
3. Are my Marine Shipyard account foreign workers allowed to work on their allocated rest day?
Yes, if there are operational needs and the worker is willing to work on their rest day. However, employers are to comply with the Employment Act and compensate the worker with overtime pay, and abide by the overtime hours limit accordingly.
4. If I have no critical production needs and do not want to operate on Sunday, do my Marine Shipyard account workers still need to report to work as it is not their assigned rest day?
No, if the company is not operating on Sunday, these workers need not report to the worksite but they will not be able to leave their dormitory for leisure or personal errands that day. The workers can leave the dormitories for leisure or personal reasons only on their assigned rest day each week.
5. If my Marine Shipyard account foreign workers usually have two rest days per week, can they be given two rest days?
Yes, companies can allow workers to have more than one rest day. Nonetheless, companies need to update only one of the rest days in the Safe@Work system. This will be the day where the workers will be able to leave their dormitory for leisure and personal reasons. On other rest days, the worker need not work, but will need to rest in their dormitory during this stage of the pandemic.
6. Will this staggered rest day arrangement apply to my Marine Shipyard account foreign workers who are not living in dormitories?
Yes, companies are required to implement the staggered rest day arrangement for their Marine Shipyard account workers regardless of their place of residence. Staggered rest day is needed to prevent the risk of large numbers of people congregating on their rest days, which will heighten the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This arrangement will reduce the pool of people interacting with others outside of work on any given day, and mitigate the public health risk to themselves and others. However, workers not living in dormitories will not be required to apply for Exit Pass to leave their residence.
7. Is there an end date for this staggered rest day arrangement?
The arrangement is needed to minimise the risk of large numbers of people congregating, and thereby reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Staggered rest days will be reviewed when the COVID-19 pandemic has abated.
8. Will there be enforcement? What will be the penalties for companies and workers who do not comply with the staggered rest day arrangement?
MOM will take enforcement measures against errant foreign workers including the suspension of dorm exits for leisure purposes, and in extreme cases, the revocation of work passes.
Assignment Of Staggered Rest Day
Resident Contractors are supported by a specific Sponsoring Shipyard. As Sponsoring Shipyards work very closely with their Resident Contractors they are provided with the flexibility to coordinate the staggered rest day arrangements according to operational needs. Sponsoring Shipyards are to ensure that between the shipyard and Resident Contractors there is an even spread of Marine Shipyard account workers resting each day across Monday to Saturday.
A Sponsoring Shipyard has 100 marine pass holders. Their Resident Contractor A and B has 30 and 50 Marine pass holders respectively. Together, they have a total of 180 marine workers. Sponsoring Shipyard will work together with Resident Contractor A and B, and coordinate such that 30 marine workers (180 ÷ 6 = 30) between them are resting each day from Monday to Saturday.
10. My company wishes to adopt the randomly assigned rest day option. Can we choose our preferred rest day between Monday to Saturday?
No. The rest day will be randomly assigned for all companies that have chosen this option. This is to ensure even distribution of workers resting across the 6 days.
11. If I am adopting the equal spread of Marine Shipyard account workers resting between Monday to Saturday, am I allowed to swap the workers’ rest days in the Safe@Work system while keeping to the numbers resting each day?
Yes, companies are allowed to change the workers’ rest day in the Safe@Work system while adhering to the numbers resting each day. However, employers are to ensure fair treatment to workers and timely communication to allow workers to make the necessary adjustment, and should not prevent their workers from applying for an Exit Pass, or force them to work on their rest day against their will.