Labour Day Special: How Sunseap Dealt With a Cluster At One of its Projects
By Natalie Tham
April 29, 2020
In March, one of the commercial buildings where Sunseap was doing an energy efficiency project at was identified as a new COVID-19 cluster in Singapore.
28 March 2020: Coronavirus alert in the building3 staff working at the Main Operation Floors tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The sudden news came as a challenge to us as our installation works had been scheduled to start a few days later, from 2nd April onwards. Prior to this, since 1 February 2020, Sunseap had been vigilantly conducting temperature checks on our colleagues twice daily to monitor their health status. All sub-contractors were also required to submit individual travel declaration.
28 March - 30 March 2020: Quick implementation of pre-emptive measuresSunseap's Process Excellence and Risk Advisory (PERA) team immediately got in touch with the team-in-charge of all installation work, and quickly implemented pre-emptive measures:
- 1. Safe distancing measures among sub-contractor staff.
- 2. Necessary work arrangements, e.g. relocating installation work to avoid high-risk areas and contact with staff at the building.
- 3. All sub-contractors were required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) - face mask, hand gloves and carry with them hand sanitizer.
The building also carried out decontamination of the affected areas and common areas over these 2 days. Sunseap closely monitored our colleagues at the site and our sub-contractors to ensure that they were adhering to new controls in place, such as staggered working hours for staff in the building.
3 April 2020: Stoppage of work for safetyAlthough Sunseap's installation works were scheduled at these Main Operation Floors from 2nd April onwards, Sunseap's Process Excellence and Risk Advisory (PERA) team advised the team on-site to postpone the installation works, in the interest of public health. All work at the building was stopped on 3rd April 2020.
4 April 2020: Growing of clusterThe cluster grew to a total of 8 patients.
We thank our hardworking Sunseap colleagues on the ground for responding quickly and efficiently to the situation. Their efforts and quick implementation of measures were crucial in preventing the cluster from growing even more rapidly. While our Sunseap colleagues understood that the stoppage of works at the building would inevitably lead to a delay in the project, they made the tough decision to call for a stoppage of work to protect the health of Sunseap colleagues and others working in the building.
Following circuit breaker measures to close all non-essential workplaces, all Sunseap employees have started working from home.
Labour Day MessageWe understand that everyone is going through a difficult time. We are aware that what we can do is limited in the face of such a situation, but let us continue to do all we can to alleviate the situation, and protect vulnerable individuals in our society.
This Labour Day, let us honour our front-liners, the people who keep Singapore going during this time – From the essential workers literally at the frontlines treating patients, our doctors, nurses, hospital staff, to our equally important delivery riders, food providers and supermarket staff, whose hard work is not left unnoticed by us. Let us not forget Singapore’s migrant workers such as Siva (our foreign colleague with whom we interviewed in our previous blog post), for painstakingly building the landscape of the city we love and appreciate.
The sacrifices of all are seen by us. And how could we show our appreciation? Moving forward, let us donate to causes supporting our front-liners and migrant workers if we have the means to, and do our part for Singapore’s healthcare system by staying indoors unless absolutely necessary.