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18 May 2020
Following the prime minister's announcement on 1 May 2020 regarding the reopening of the economy,(1) the construction industry is permitted to operate with effect from 4 May 2020 (MCO Phase 4). Such operations will be subject to compliance with the standard operating procedure for construction issued by the Ministry of Works (the Construction SOP).(2)
The Construction SOP provides that the following activities are allowed during MCO Phase 4.
Any construction work as set out in the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Act 1994 is allowed. Section 2 of the CIDB Act defines 'construction works' as:
construction, extension, installation, repair, maintenance, renewal, removal, renovation, alteration, dismantling, or demolition of-
Any professional services relating to the construction industry are also allowed.
However, companies are restricted from carrying out any activities listed in the List of Prohibited Activities. At the time of writing, the List of Prohibited Activities includes no construction-related works.
For the purpose of operations during MCO Phase 4, companies must submit information relating to their ongoing construction projects to the CIDB via the CIDB's online portal. In addition, companies should prepare and ensure that documents relating to their ongoing construction projects are made available at the construction site or premises for inspection by the relevant authorities.
There is no stipulated number of operation hours for the construction industry. Pursuant to the Construction SOP, operations may be conducted on a 24-hours basis. However, any attendance to clients can take place only between 8:00am and 5:30pm.
Companies can utilise 100% of their workforce in their operations during MCO Phase 4.
Social distancing and maintaining a high level of occupational health and safety are emphasised in the Construction SOP. In connection therewith, the Construction SOP outlines protocols(3) for matters including:
Apart from the Construction SOP, companies should observe and comply with:
The resumption of operations for the construction industry will be welcome news for many companies with ongoing construction projects. However, given that the Construction SOP has an extensive list of protocols which companies must implement in order to operate during MCO Phase 4, it remains to be seen whether operations can indeed be resumed as early as hoped.
For further information on this topic please contact Jocelyn Yean Tse Lim or Rachel Chiah at SKRINE by telephone (+60 3 2081 3999) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The SKRINE website can be accessed at www.skrine.com.
(1) Further information of MCO Phase 4 is available here.
(2) The CIDB's English translation of the full text of the Construction SOP is available here.
(3) A summary of the protocols which the construction industry must implement in order to operate during MCO Phase 4 is available here.
(4) Further information on the standard operating procedures issued by the CIDB is available here.
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