Public Cleanliness

Environmental Sanitation Regime

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 (ES) standards will be made mandatory for specified premises, starting with higher-risk premises with vulnerable occupants and/or high footfall such as preschools, schools, youth facilities and eldercare facilities, hawker centres, coffeeshops, food courts, canteens and specified shopping malls. The list of gazetted specified premises and their implementation dates are listed in the Environmental Public Health (Designation of Specified Premises) Order 2021 and the Environmental Public Health (Designation of Specified Premises — Shopping Malls) Order 2022.

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 ES standards within their respective premises.

In 2019, NEA convened an ES Technical Committee to develop national baseline standards on environmental sanitation for designated high-risk non-healthcare premises. The ES Technical Committee comprised representatives from government agencies, the academia and the industry. The committee developed the ES Technical Guide to provide premises owners of high-risk non-healthcare premises 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 ES Technical Guide also provides 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.

The ES regime will require the specified premises to develop and implement an ES programme which includes, but is not limited to, the following baseline standards developed by the Technical Committee: 

  • Implement minimum routine cleaning and disinfection frequencies, with attention paid to high-risk areas (e.g. high-touch surfaces used by vulnerable persons, and areas with high risk of contamination are to be cleaned more frequently);
  • Implement minimum six-monthly thorough periodic cleaning and disinfection of the specified premises, including areas not easily accessible and not covered by routine cleaning (e.g. out-of-reach window panels, ceiling and wall fans);
  • Carry out yearly (minimally) maintenance of surfaces or fixtures, which includes the associated stipulated routine cleaning frequency (where relevant);
  • Inspect minimally 10% of the areas in the premises daily and after periodic cleaning and disinfection works;
  • Put in place a cleaning and disinfection protocol to respond to incidents involving bodily discharge;
  • Ensure that workers are trained and provided with the necessary equipment and cleaning agents to carry out effective cleaning and disinfection; 
  • Achieve desired outcome-based cleanliness indicators after the completion of cleaning operations; and
  • Implement a pest management plan, inclusive of a comprehensive pest management survey to be conducted minimally once every 6 months to review the effectiveness of the pest management plan.

Through the implementation of the ES programme, the specified premises must meet the following ES outcomes:

  • Premises are clean and relatively free of visible litter, stain, environmental waste, spillage and soilage;
  • Crockery and trays are promptly cleared from tables, tray return racks, and floor (if any, are placed); and
  • No significant vector issues within the premises at any time.

The Premises Manager (PM) of the specified premises shall be a person or incorporated entity with management and control of the premises and will be held overall responsible for ensuring compliance with the mandatory ES standards.

The PM is required to appoint a trained and registered ECC or ECO(SP) to help develop and oversee the implementation of an ES programme.  [Refer to Training and Registration for ECC and ECO(SP) for more information].

The table below lists the specified premises types that are required to appoint an ECC or an ECO(SP).

Specified premises that are required to appoint an ECC

Specified premises that are required to appoint an ECO(SP)

  • Eldercare, Youth and Social Service Facilities
  • Preschools and Schools
  • Food Centres and Markets
  • Coffeeshops
  • Foodcourts and Canteens
  • Specified Shopping Malls1

1 As shopping malls are complex and multi-tenanted, the ECO(SP) needs to supervise and coordinate the implementation of the mall’s ES programme with other stakeholders such as the ECCs of smaller specified premises (e.g. food court and preschool) within the mall. ECO(SP)s are also trained in a diverse range of environmental issues to ensure that the shopping mall complies with all environmental laws.

Click here to refer to the Criteria for Inclusion as Specified Shopping Malls.

The
key responsibilities of the PM, ECC and ECO(SP) are summarised below:

Premises Manager (PM)

ECC and ECO(SP)

  • Appoint a registered ECC or ECO(SP)
  • Endorse and submit an ES programme to NEA
  • Implement the ES programme
  • Keep an updated ES programme on site
  • Facilitate the work of the ECC or ECO(SP) by providing the necessary resources for him/her to carry out his/her duties
  • Permit the ECC or ECO(SP) to attend any relevant training course, seminar, conference or meeting and reimburse the ECC or ECO(SP) for such training costs
  • Assist the PM in developing an ES programme that complies with the ES regime
  • Monitor the implementation of the ES programme
  • Flag up lapses to the PM for rectification
  • Review effectiveness of the ES programme and make recommendations to the PM
  • Keep records of works/measures with respect to the ES programme
  • Attend to NEA during inspections, including furnishing any requested information
  • Undergo training, as required by NEA

The ECC or ECO(SP) is required to assist the PM to develop an ES programme for their premises and oversee its implementation . The ES programme has to be submitted within 1 month from the implementation of ES regime for the sector or upon commencement of operations for new specified premises. The PM is required to submit the ES programme to NEA via FormSG1. Please refer to the Codes of Practice for ECC and ECO(SP) for more information on the submission of the ES programme. The ES programme must be filled up using the template2 in the latest version within the Code of Practice.

1 As the ECC or ECO(SP) registration number will be required for the submission of the ES programme, the PM should proceed to submit the ES programme only after the registered ECC or ECO(SP) has obtained the certificate of registration from NEA.

2 For inventory of areas under the section ‘Scope and Frequency of Cleaning, Disinfection and Facility Inspection’ which are not applicable to your specified premises, please indicate ‘NA’ in the columns for routine and periodic frequency.

The ES programme submission need only be submitted to NEA once, and resubmitted within 14 days when amendments are made to the:

  • Appointment of the PM and/or ECC or ECO(SP);
  • Inventory of areas to be cleaned and disinfected;
  • Cleaning and disinfection frequencies;
  • Address of the premises
  • Appointment of cleaning contractor (if applicable); or
  • Appointment of registered vector control operator.

The ECC or ECO(SP) of a specified premises should regularly review the ES programme at least once a year and ensure its effectiveness in meeting the desired outcomes. Specified premises may also be required to resubmit the ES programme if the Director-General deems necessary.

The Codes of Practice spells out the roles and duties of ECCs and ECO(SP)s, and that of the Premises Managers. It also serves as a guide for the PMs, ECCs and ECO(SP)s to develop and implement an effective ES programme, and for compliance with other environmental laws (if applicable).

1

2

Appendix I: Sector-specific Environmental Sanitation (ES) Programmes

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Appendix II: Sample Cleaning/Inspection and Pest Management Survey templates