With companies across the region taking stringent measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official at ASGC, the Dubai-based contractor, tells MECN.com that the builder is taking the threat extremely seriously, and is carrying out through processes to mitigate the risks associated with the virus.
In a statement to MECN.com, David Robinson, HSE director at ASGC, said that the welfare and health of its employees and staff is paramount to the company. He outlined several steps taken by the contracting group to ensure their wellbeing.
“If we take our labour camps first, where most of our employees reside – we started off initially with a specialist, Dubai Municipality approved, contractor carrying out a deep clean and sterilization. This has been followed up with our own teams of cleaners increasing the normal cleaning regime and using the recommended cleaning fluids to ensure continued sterilisation.
“Hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps are provided throughout the camps, along with a modification of some of the usual activities, such as restricting visitors and stopping the large sports events or mass meetings and celebrations that we hold,” Robinson explained.
“We also have Dubai Municipality-registered nurses carrying out health screening and monitoring of temperature on a daily basis, as employees board the transport buses. Furthermore, they spend time in the evenings with camp residents to discuss health and hygiene in relation to the prevention of spread, and about general lifestyle.”
In addition, Robinson pointed out that all ASGC project sites have carried out similar activities, with third-party cleaning and increased disinfecting regimes in place, along with the health monitoring of office staff and subcontractors on site.
“We have also drastically reduced meetings and visitors to the bare essentials, and we’re relying heavily on IT solutions such as conference calls, and video links, where we can. In the head officer, we’ve split each department across our three offices, and people cannot move between them. All meetings have to be done through video calls,” he asserted.
As part of ASGC’s awareness campaign, he adds that all ASGC locations, camp sites and offices have had dedicated HSE noticeboards installed, where relevant information is displayed in multi-lingual formats.
“This has been supplemented by information sheets being placed in every room in accommodation camps, and interactive discussions with camp nurses. These has also been a consistent passing of information through localised, small pre-start and toolbox talks held in the morning, prior to work beginning. We are also currently producing a multi-lingual video that will be shown at accommodation camps in the dining areas and reception, showcasing health and hygiene tips”
Karim El Shennawy, head of Business Development at ASGC, added that the company anticipates that the decision-making process on new projects will be postponed for a few weeks, but that the measures taken so far have helped mitigate the impact on ongoing works.
“So far, and with the precautionary health measures added to the process, progress is continuing as planned. As for outsourced supplies, our Procurement and Operations teams are reviewing alternative options, when deemed necessary,” he concluded.