1. How do I know if I am classified as a PCM company and if the following FAQs apply to me?
This set of 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 Process account 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:
- 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 PCM activities not regulated under the Building Control Act, E&C plant owners and their PCM contractors must ensure compliance to the COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for E&C plant owners and PCM companies published on MTI’s GoBusiness portal here.
3. What kind of projects or activities will require approval from the relevant authorities before they can start/resume from 2 June 2020 onwards? 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 dated 10 August 2020 here and the BCA’s COVID-19 website 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.
5. 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 can proceed to deploy the additional manpower without EDB’s approval, subject to the MTI-approved manning levels of their PCM contractors. Companies should maintain updated records of the worker cohorting arrangements (worker details, worksite team/zone, transport and accommodation arrangements) for prompt submission to the relevant authorities if needed, especially in the event of a Covid incident.
6. 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 I 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
7. How will checks be done to ensure that companies are complying with COVID-Safe Restart criteria?
Agencies 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.
8. 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.
Employers should promptly identify and segregate team members who were in sustained and close contact with the confirmed case to support MOH’s contact tracing efforts. Close contacts will be isolated and tested, and 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. 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.
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?
All PCM workers will be required to undergo regular swab tests, with the exception of non-dormitory workers who work in non-production sites or work from home.
The above is applicable for Singaporeans, Singaporean Permanent Residents, Work Permit Holders, S Pass Holders and Employment Pass Holders.
Companies may create accounts to register for swabs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule for workers to be swabbed via https://swab.hpb.gov.sg/ext/login.aspx. If any workers who are working are found to have missed regular testing, the workers’ AccessCode will turn Red after a grace period and the worker should not return to work. MOM will also follow-up to revoke the workpass and blacklist the company should there be no valid reason for the worker missing the swab. EDB also reserves the right to withdraw any approval given for resumption of works.
Non-dormitory workers who work in non-production sites or work from home do not need 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. Companies may create accounts to register for swabs by emailing email@example.com and schedule for workers to be swabbed via https://swab.hpb.gov.sg/ext/login.aspx.
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 procedure for employers whose workers want to return to their native countries? Who can they approach, is it the task force at the dormitory? When are these foreign workers allowed to leave?
Please refer to MOM’s guidance on the matter.
An alternative to repatriation is to consider releasing the foreign worker to other companies that are short in manpower. If it is assessed that the foreign workers are not needed, an alternative is that employers may give consent for them to be transferred to other employers facing manpower shortages. Employers can approach Singapore Business Federation (SBF) at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit SBF’s website here.
7. For foreign workers who have gone on home leave, when can they return?
Please refer to MOM’s guidance on the matter.
COVID-Safe Accommodation and Transport
1. Do I have to segregate my workers at their accommodation according to their projects and teams?
Yes. Otherwise, workers employed by the same firm to be housed in the same room. Limited to a maximum of 2 employers housed within each room. Please refer to the latest guidance on the matter here.
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.