Environmental Sanitation (ES) Regime
A series of gastroenteritis outbreak, which affected several pre-schools and eldercare facilities in late 2018/early 2019, along with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of good environmental hygiene in preventing the transmission of infectious diseases. From 30 July 2021 onwards, baseline environmental sanitation standards will be made mandatory for specified premises, starting with higher-risk premises with immuno-vulnerable occupants and/or high footfall such as preschools, schools, youth facilities and eldercare facilities, hawker centres and coffeeshops.
The ES regime builds on existing hygiene and sanitation measures already practised by the various sectors and premises; and aims to move towards a co-regulatory approach where all stakeholders take accountability and ownership of the environmental sanitation standards within their respective premises.
Environmental Sanitation for High-Risk Non-Healthcare Premises in Singapore Technical Guide
In 2019, NEA convened an ES Technical Committee to develop national baseline standards on environmental sanitation for designated high-risk non-healthcare premises. The Technical Committee comprised representatives from government agencies, the academia and the industry. The ES Technical Guide provide premises owners with background on the importance of environmental sanitation in preventing the transmission of infectious diseases, and how owners or operators of premises can reduce the incidences of community-acquired infections transmittable by contaminated surfaces and manage pest infestations with good environmental sanitation. The Technical Guide also provide users with information on what to do and look out for when performing their routine and periodic environmental cleaning and disinfection, as well as to deal with incident(s) involving bodily fluids/discharge. A sample environmental sanitation programme is available in the Technical Guide for users’ reference too.
The ES regime will require the specified premises to develop and implement an environmental sanitation programme which includes, but is not limited to, the following baseline standards developed by the Technical Committee:
- Implement minimum daily cleaning and disinfection frequencies of toilets, lifts, bin centres and high-touch surfaces.
- Implement minimum six-monthly thorough periodic cleaning, which includes cleaning of areas that are not easily accessible and not covered by routine cleaning (e.g. out-of-reach window panels, ceiling and wall fans). Thorough periodic cleaning may also require intense cleaning of areas that are already covered under routine cleaning. The frequency of the thorough periodic cleaning may be increased depending on the type of specified premises (e.g. three months for hawker centres and coffeeshops).
- Implement pest management plan, inclusive of a comprehensive pest survey to be conducted at least once every six months, to ensure that measures are in place to prevent pest issues
- Put in place a cleaning and disinfection methodology/protocol to respond to incident(s) involving bodily fluids/discharge (e.g. vomitus).
- Achieve desired outcome-based indicators after the completion of cleaning operations, e.g. clean premises that is relatively free of stains and environmental waste.
- Ensure workers are trained and provided with the necessary equipment and cleaning agents to carry out effective cleaning and disinfection.
Click to download the Technical Guide.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Premises Manager and an Environmental Control Coordinator
The environmental sanitation programme for the specified premises will be developed and implemented by two key personnel: (1) Premises Managers and (2) Environmental Control Coordinators (ECC). The Premises Managers will need to appoint an ECC to help develop and oversee the implementation of the mandatory environmental sanitation programme.
The key responsibilities of the Premises Manager and ECC are summarised below:
- Appoint a registered ECC
- Endorse and submit an ES programme to NEA or authorised officers
- Implement the ES programme
- Keep the ES programme on site
- Permit ECC to attend any training course, seminar, conference or meeting
- Reimburse ECC for training costs
- Undergo training, as required by NEA
- Register with NEA
- Assist PM in developing an ES programme that complies with the requirements
- Flag up lapses to PM for rectification
- Review effectiveness of the ES programme and make recommendations to PM
- Keep records of works/measures with respect to the ES programme
- Attend to NEA during compliance inspections, including furnishing any requested information
Code of Practice for Environmental Control Coordinators
The Code of Practice for Environmental Control Coordinators spells out their roles and that of the PMs, their responsibilities and what is expected from them. It also serves as a guide to ECCs for the development and monitoring of the implementation of an ES programme for specified premises.
Training for Environmental Control Coordinator (ECC)
In order to be registered as an ECC with NEA, individuals are required to attend and pass a requisite ECC training course. Individuals should have basic computer skills to facilitate the online training and to develop the ES programme. The training will equip ECCs with the relevant skills in planning and implementing a wide range of environmental measures including cleaning and disinfection, pest management, waste management and other relevant environmental topics to assist the PMs in adhering to the baseline environmental sanitation standards required for their premises. The ECC training course will be conducted by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) accredited training providers.
For ECC training schedule and registration details, please refer to the respective training providers’ websites as listed below.
Registration for Environmental Control Coordinator (ECC)
To apply for the ECC certificate of registration, please click this registration link and search for “Environmental Control Coordinator” under the keywords. A registration fee of $120 is applicable.
Sample copy of electronic ECC certificate of registration
Environmental Sanitation (ES) Programme
The ECC will assist the PM to develop and oversee the implementation of the ES programme for their premises. PM is required to submit the ES Programme in word/pdf format for each specified premises via FormSG.
As the ECC registration number will be required for the submission of the ES Programme, the PM should only proceed to submit the ES Programme after the ECC has obtained the certificate of registration from NEA. The ES Programme should be submitted no later than one month from the commencement of the ES regime for the sector or from operations of new specified premises. Please refer to the Code of Practice for Environmental Control Coordinators for the sector-specific ES programmes.
Resubmission of ES Programme via the same FormSG
link is required for any changes in the ES Programme such as change in the PM/ECC etc, or when required by Director- General or any authorised officers.