1. How do I know if I am classified as a PCM company and if the following FAQs apply to me?
These FAQs apply to PCM companies carrying out process construction and process turnaround maintenance works, as well as the relevant plant owners. PCM companies are defined as those which are corporate members of the Association of the Process Industry (ASPRI) and endorsed by ASPRI as a PCM contractor, allowed to employ PCM Work Permit and S-Pass Holders.
2. Will Energy & Chemicals (E&C) Plant Owners and PCM companies be allowed to resume their operations after 2 June 2020?
Petroleum/Petrochemicals and other Chemical facilities (collectively known as E&C facilities) are part of the Manufacturing & Production facilities that are allowed to re-open after 2 June 2020 without any manpower quota.
Plant owners must:
- Submit their manpower details via the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MTI’s) GoBusiness portal at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg within two weeks of 2 June 2020 or from the date of resumption of operations, whichever date is later.
- Ensure compliance with the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Safe Management Measures (SMM) and checklist.
- Implement telecommuting as far as possible in adherence to MOM’s SMM.
For process construction projects and turnaround maintenance activities, in view of the large number of workers required on site, additional COVID-Safe Restart criteria apply. Approvals will have to be sought from the Building Construction Authority (BCA) or the Economic Development Board (EDB) on behalf of MTI (see below).
For PCM companies, resumption of on-site operations to support construction projects and turnaround maintenance activities will be on a project approval basis, facilitated by the plant owner.
Any increase in PCM company manning levels for regular process plant maintenance activities will also have to be graduated. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. PCM companies may apply jointly with the E&C plant owner at http://www.edb.gov.sg/en/contact/contact-us.html.
3. What kind of projects or activities will require approval from the relevant authorities before they can start/resume from 2 June 2020 onwards?
- Essential maintenance activities carried out by (a) firms that are allowed to operate from 2 June 2020, or (b) firms that are operating on an exemption basis at earlier approved manning levels by MTI will not require any additional approval, subject to earlier approved manning levels.
- Any increase in PCM company manning levels for regular process plant maintenance activities will have to be graduated. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. PCM companies may jointly apply with the E&C plant owner at http://www.edb.gov.sg/en/contact/contact-us.html.
- For categories of work on (a) process plant turnaround maintenance activities, or (b) process construction activities that are not regulated under the Building Control Act, applications will have to be submitted to EDB by plant owners before their appointed PCM contractors can commence/resume work.
- For process construction projects regulated under the Building Control Act, applications will have to be submitted by the plant owner and main contractor to BCA for the project before work can resume, even if BCA’s building plan or structural plan approvals had previously been sought.
4. Is there any difference in the resumption of work after Circuit Breaker between the PCM and Construction Sector?
Please refer to Table 1 in the Advisory for a Safe and Controlled Restart of the PCM Sector for details on the guidelines that would apply to different types of works and companies.
For the relevant COVID-Safe Restart advisory and criteria for the Construction sector, please refer to the BCA advisory here.
For foreign-owned enterprises and large local enterprises, please contact EDB here if you have any queries or require clarifications. All other local enterprises can contact Enterprise Singapore here if you have any queries or require clarifications.
6. I am a PCM company and I want to increase manning for regular maintenance activities above the earlier approved manning levels. Do I need to apply to EDB to increase manning?
Yes. Any increase in PCM company manning levels for regular maintenance activities above the earlier approved manning levels will have to be graduated. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. PCM companies may apply jointly with the E&C plant owner here.
7. If my PCM company’s SSIC code falls under the permissible SSIC codes that are permissible to operate from 2 June 2020, do I need to apply for approval to deploy additional manpower compared to earlier approved manning levels by MTI?
Yes. PCM companies are defined as those which are corporate members of the ASPRI and endorsed by ASPRI as a PCM contractor, allowed to employ PCM Work Permit and S-Pass Holders.
8. I have already obtained EDB’s approval to resume works for one of my projects. Will I be able to proceed with works on all my projects or worksites?
No. The approval granted by EDB on behalf of MTI for the resumption of works is project specific.
Application forms will have to be submitted for each specific project. While safe management plans can be replicated for each of the applications where they are similar, the specific contractors & sub-contractors involved in each project should be updated accordingly.
9. My company had received approval from EDB to restart certain construction or turnaround maintenance projects with some workers. Do I need to inform EDB of additional manpower that I plan to deploy?
Companies will need to seek EDB’s approval to deploy additional workers beyond approved manning levels. Companies carrying out these works must comply with the relevant COVID-Safe Restart Criteria, as well as prevailing requirements from MOM.
10. For process construction projects that require BCA’s approval for resumption of works but are unable to meet certain BCA safe restart criteria, where can they lodge an appeal?
For companies which are unable to meet certain safe restart criteria from BCA and have legitimate justifications as to why these restart criteria would not be feasible for the process construction project, you can write in to email@example.com to appeal with the following information:
- Reference number of your original submission
- Type of works to be carried out
- Location of such works
- If the works had already started and if yes, the date when works started
- Expected date of completion of the works
- Reason for the urgency to restart
- List of all workers involved, their accommodation addresses and their compliance with BCA’s COVID-Safe Restart Criteria
- Other supporting information and documents
11. I am constructing on-site living quarters for my site but not starting other parts of the project, do I need to obtain EDB’s approval first before constructing the on-site quarters?
For construction of on-site living quarters alone without starting other parts of the project, companies will need to seek BCA’s approval to start work from 2 June 2020, similar to any other construction project. Companies will also need to apply for the necessary permits with the relevant agencies. For more information on MOM’s requirements for housing, please visit: https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-worker/housing/various-types-of-housing.
12. 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 COVID-Safe Restart criteria or MOM’s Safe Management Measures, whichever relevant. In addition, these 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.
13. What happens if a project is found to have a worker infected with COVID-19 after works have been resumed?
Plant owners and PCM companies 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 building or the whole floor 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 COVID-Safe Restart criteria for E&C plant owners and PCM companies 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.
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 from PCM companies comply with COVID-Safe Worksite requirements?
PCM contractors are responsible to ensure that all their personnel (e.g. employees, contractors, etc.) adhere to COVID-Safe Worksite requirements for PCM companies, as well as any requirements determined by plant owners for the worksite.
3. Which workers will the COVID-Safe Worksite criteria from EDB apply to?
Please refer to the following categories:
- For all workers involved in process construction or turnaround maintenance activities that are not regulated under the Building Control Act, the PCM sector COVID-Safe Worksite criteria from EDB would apply.
- For all workers involved in process construction projects subject to BCA’s approval, the relevant requirements under BCA’s COVID-Safe Worksite Guidelines would apply.
- For all workers within the plant premise performing all other work, they would have to comply with the SMM laid out by the plant owners.
PCM contractors and employees are to avoid direct interaction with the E&C plant owner/customer’s employees except for safety and quality checks.
4. Can a Workplace Safety & Health Officer (WSHO) also be a Safe Management Officer (SMO)?
Yes, a WSHO can also be a SMO.
5. Who can be appointed as SMOs or Safe Distancing Officers (SDO)?
For both E&C plant owners & PCM companies, this can be employees that have been appointed to assume the roles of SMOs & SDOs. PCM companies will have to employ both SMOs and SDOs, while plant owners will have to minimally employ SMOs. SMOs & SDOs from plant owners and PCM companies should also work together to implement and coordinate the SMM system at the worksite.
6. 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. While TraceTogether is not mandatory at the worksite given that not all workers will be able to hold on to mobile phones while at the work area in live plants, logging the entry of all personnel via the SafeEntry visitor management system will be required to support contact tracing efforts.
7. 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 to ensure no interaction from the other sub-teams.
8. Will workers not declared by the company be allowed to go onto the worksite?
No. Companies will be required to declare all workers entering the worksite and ensure that those who are unwell or have not completed the required swab tests do not enter the worksite for the project.
9. Can all office staff commence work after 2 June 2020?
For companies that are allowed to resume work from 2 June 2020 based on MTI’s advisory dated 19 May 2020 or have received approval to restart PCM works, the intent is still to have the workforce that can telecommute to do so. Employees should go to the office only where it is demonstrably necessary e.g. to access specialized systems/equipment that cannot be accessed from home, or to fulfill legal requirements (e.g. to complete contracts or transactions).
1. How can employers check the health status of their workers?
Employers should refer to press releases from MOM regarding the status of dormitories, and also communicate with their workers to verify their health status.
2. Who would need to be regularly swab tested?
The following groups of PCM workers are required to undergo regular swab tests:
- Those who work on the production site; and/or
- 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.
Upon receiving companies’ applications, EDB will inform relevant companies on the swab test arrangements. EDB will provide further information through ASPRI on swab test arrangements as well. If any workers who are working are found to have missed regular testing, EDB reserves the right to withdraw any approval for resumption of works.
No. Only those that are working on the production site and in contact with on-site workers will have to be regularly swab tested.
4. 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 to arrange for their employees to be tested.
5. 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.
6. 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 PCM 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’s approval has been obtained for other works to resume.
7. 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 teams so as to avoid inter-mixing.
Staggered Rest Day
1. How will staggered rest days apply to PCM projects/activities that involve Work Permit and S Pass holders hired under the Process account?
We recognize that these firms may be subjected to contractual agreements on days when their services need to be provided. To cater for their varying manpower deployment requirements, we will allow firms to choose the appropriate rest days for their workers between Monday to Saturday, as the day when the worker is allowed to exit the dorm. Workers can continue to rest from work on Sunday but must stay within the dorm.
For Process Construction projects which have applied to BCA for approval to restart, BCA will assign a rest day for the Work Permit and S-pass holders involved in the project. For projects that do not apply to BCA for restart, employers of Work Permit or S-Pass Holders can choose a rest day for each of their workers.
We recognize that process construction projects could have synergies with process maintenance works (e.g. shared equipment/workers, interdependent job sequencing). To cater for these synergies, we will allow Process firms to choose the appropriate rest days for their Work Permit and S-Pass holders between Monday to Saturday, as the day when the worker is allowed to exit the dorm. Workers can continue to rest from work on Sunday but must stay within the dorm. Employers should work with the project/plant owner to select the appropriate rest day for their workers from Monday to Saturday.
2. 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 Process sector will be affected. Staggered rest days will apply to all Work Permit and S Pass holders hired under the Process 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.
3. My Process sector 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 Process Sector 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.
4. Are my Process sector 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.
5. If I have no critical production needs and do not want to operate on Sunday, do my Process sector 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.
6. If my Process sector 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.
7. Will this staggered rest day arrangement apply to my Process sector workers who are not living in dormitories?
Yes, companies are required to implement the staggered rest day arrangement for their Process sector 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.
8. 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.
9. 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
10. Will MOM/BCA/EDB inform my workers on their assigned rest day?
No. Employers are responsible for informing their workers on their assigned rest days and if there are any subsequent changes.
11. My worker is deployed to multiple worksites. Which rest day should I follow?
If your worker is primarily deployed to one project site, you should follow the rest day of the project site. If your worker serves multiple project sites or is not deployed to a site, you may select a rest day between Monday to Saturday that best fits his work schedule. Please log on to MOM’s Safe@Work system to select a suitable rest day for your worker.
We understand that firms will need time to adjust their business practices and manpower deployment to implement their new rest day. Hence, you will be given one-month grace period from 12 August 2020 to implement your new rest day.