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Mask disposal bins and personal disinfectant kits: how Singapore banks are welcoming you back to the office

As financial professionals in Singapore start to return to the office – albeit in a trickle rather than a rush – they face a range of new restrictions designed to protect their health and safety. All banks tell us they are following the Ministry of Manpower’s Safe Management Measures as a baseline, alongside their own more specific strategies.  

DBS is adopting the Ministry’s measures “and beyond”, says a spokesperson. Its policies include providing special face mask disposal bins for staff to ensure the containment and safe disposal of masks, disinfecting high touchpoints at offices every two hours, and applying anti-microbial coating on the button panels and interior of lifts at DBS offices, she adds.

Standard Chartered has “created an internal portal where employees are able to check in their health status and where they are working from – this helps to facilitate contact tracing”, says a spokesperson.

The bank has also installed contactless hand sanitisers and thermometers and ensured rooms and seats are demarcated to help keep employees apart. “We have a support network of colleagues – playing a role similar to safe distancing ambassadors – to help remind one another to keep the workplace compliant and safe,” she adds.

As we reported last week, UOB has appointed and trained 200 of its employees as safe management officers, who are tasked to “ensure that those colleagues in the office adhere strictly to safe management measures such as wearing a mask at all times and observing safe distancing at all times”, Dean Tong, head of group human resources at UOB, told us. Other measures include placing safe distancing markers in offices, meeting rooms, lifts and common areas (to ensure at least one metre of space between each person), increasing the frequency of cleaning, and providing employees with “disinfectant kits” to clean their immediate workspaces.

At OCBC, “safe management measures, such as staggered working hours, safe distancing, split operations and temperature screening, that were implemented prior to the circuit breaker, continue to be in place as we re-adjust to working in the new office environment as well as to respond to any changing external environmental risk,” says Francisco John Celio, head of group corporate security.

HSBC published its safe management principles for Singapore on June 11 and these remain largely the same, says Olfert de Wit, COO of HSBC in Singapore. Among many other measures, HSBC requires staff to check into and out of HSBC buildings with SafeEntry, and to active the Trace Together app while they are in the office.

Deutsche Bank is “complying with all Singapore requirements, such as social distancing measures, compulsory mask wearing, staggered hours, twice-daily temperature checks and steps to enable contact tracing,” says a spokesperson for the German firm.

Photo by Wolfgang Rottmann on Unsplash

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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