Circular No: WSH/126/05/WH
29 May 2020
Call to Conduct Safety Time-Out for Resumption of Work after Circuit Breaker
With the Circuit Breaker ending on 1 June 2020, construction works will gradually resume in a safe but controlled manner in phases as announced by the Government.
After an extended period of shutdown of construction sites, there may be potential hazards during restart of site operations. As such, SCAL urge members to conduct a safety time-out exercise before resumption of work.
This exercise should take stock and review construction activities to ensure safe operations. It should include, but not limited to areas such as:
- Stability of structures and supports such as climbing formwork, hanging formworks, safety screens, etc
- Scaffolds including cantilever supports and suspended scaffolds
- Inspection and functionality test of tower cranes, crawler cranes, plant and machinery
- Stability of strutting and shoring for excavations and trenches
- Working at heights and lifting activities
- Rigidity of all barricades and covers to floor openings
- Temporary Electrical Installations
- Vehicular and human access in the workplace
- Transportation of workers
- Storage of materials including hazardous chemicals
- Environmental hygiene and pests control issues
- Workers acclimatisation to hot weather after the long break
To guide industry in implementing the safety time-out, the WSH Council has developed checklists for your reference in the table below.
Step up Mosquito Preventive Efforts on Site
NEA has also informed that the weekly dengue cases remain high. Since the start of the Circuit Breaker, NEA has conducted close to 1000 inspections on construction sites, of these about 120 (~12%) inspections uncovered Aedes mosquito breeding habitats. Contractors are urged to maintain vector control efforts in their premises and to implement the following measures:
- Remove all unwanted items, organic waste and water-bearing receptacles daily
- Construction/Demolition waste to be removed on a regular basis
- Ensure building materials are properly stored under shelter to prevent accumulation of water
- Ensure drains are desilted weekly and continually maintained to prevent stagnation of water
- Identify long term and sustainable measures e.g. repair structural defects within properties which could lead to stagnation of water
- Level uneven ground to prevent water puddles
- Stagnant water in lorry bed and pails on the tipper trucks / lorries
- Add sand granular insecticide or BTI to stagnant water bodies that cannot be removed
- Ensure proper refuse management and to advocate a daily housekeeping regime
- Ensure proper housekeeping within site and CTQ
- Engage a licensed vector control operator to carry out vector inspections and treatment covering the entire site at least once a week
Enhance Personnel Protection on Site
- Distribute mosquito repellents to all staff working on site and advocate a culture of applying repellent at the start of, and throughout the day at regular intervals.
- For construction sites with existing Construction Temporary Quarters (CTQs), contractors are strongly urged to engage a licensed vector control operator to carry out Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in the CTQs on a fortnightly basis. This is an application of insecticide on the wall surfaces that kills adult mosquitoes when they rest on the wall.
- For construction sites intending to construct a CTQ on site, contractors are strongly urged to engage a licensed vector control operator to carry out at least 1 round of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in the CTQs before allowing workers to move in and thereafter to carry out IRS on a fortnightly basis.
- CTQs should preferably be mosquito-proof (i.e air-conditioned or to have mosquito-proof screen nets) and aerosol insecticide spray cans should be made readily available in the CTQs
- Implement a daily temperature taking regime. Staff found to have fever should be referred to a clinic immediately.
As industry stakeholders, we are responsible to ensure that all personnel place workplace safety and health as their top priority at all times at their project sites.
We look forward to your active participation in these difficult times and thank you for your cooperation.