The past number of months have been a time unlike any other. As the situation with the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus has unfolded, each of us has been challenged with how to manage its implications.
At Intel, our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of our employees, partners, suppliers, contractors and communities. In this unprecedented pandemic, we are committed to doing everything in our power to slow the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Following government guidance which was delivered at the end of March 2020, we temporarily paused construction of our manufacturing expansion activity. In response to updated guidelines recently shared in the Government’s Roadmap for reopening society and business document, we begun the process of restarting construction activity.
We continuously monitored the restart to ensure a phased return of activities in a safe and controlled manner.
Safe working environment
The re-introduction of our main construction activity began on May 18th. This activity returned in phases with health and safety as the primary consideration at all stages. This phased re-introduction followed a short period of preparatory works undertaken by our main contractor. This ensured that social distancing layouts, preparation of areas and additional welfare infrastructure were all in place for the safe reopening of the construction site.
For the construction activity being undertaken on campus, we have worked with our main contractor to implement a wide range of carefully controlled safety measures including social distancing, the use of facemasks, increased cleaning and other protocols to safeguard the health of all workers on site.
Throughout the phased restart we will of course adhere to the most up-to-date official public health advice and guidance from the Government and our industry.
The critical protective and preventative measures we have implemented include;
- Social distancing policies;
- An online COVID-19 orientation and health check self-declaration is required to be completed by all contractors prior to coming back onsite.
- A detailed assessment of each job task is being undertaken prior to its completion – the job task will not be completed unless it can be done so in a safe manner.
- Health review information is in place at each of the site entrance points and turnstiles. Hand sanitiser stations are in place and signage promoting their use is also positioned at entry points.
- Social distance visual markers have been placed along access routes and pathways to visually illustrate 2 metre spacing. These access routes and walkways have been widened to facilitate social distancing and one-way systems are in place to ensure separation along path ways.
- A balanced distribution of the workforce has been assigned across the site café facilities to implement the required people density for social distancing and this is supported by time staggered lunch/break slots. Table and seating signage are in place with positioning stickers to indicate where furniture should be placed. Expanded capacity of seating and kitchen areas has been installed to support this.
- In smoking areas, ground markings have been clearly painted at safe social distances and signage is used to reinforce these distances.
- Additional hand sanitiser units have been rolled out across the site and hand wash facilities have been installed throughout the construction site.
- In meeting spaces, capacity has been significantly limited to allow social distancing and signage indicating this is present on doors and tables.
- The site induction program for any new contractors has been moved from an in-person to an online activity.
- Dedicated ‘COVID Compliance’ marshals have been put in place to support the adherence of these social distancing measures.
- We require that face masks are worn by each person working at our construction site.
- Increased cleaning of facilities; we have expanded cleaning of our workspaces on an increased frequency with appropriate disinfectants and other safeguards.
- Transportation; the volume of shuttle buses transporting employees to the site has been greatly increased to enable appropriate social distancing. Vehicle occupancy has been adjusted so that it is in line with health guidelines and is monitored daily.
- Work-from-home; we have implemented work from home arrangements for employees if their roles allow. This has enabled us to achieve a reduction in the number of people working at our Leixlip construction site.
We will continue to evolve our response and to closely monitor guidance provided by the Irish government whilst keeping our employees informed with their safety and well-being as the top priority.
Niall Dillon is the Director of Construction at Intel Ireland.
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