The prevalent COVID-19 pandemic has required every industry to adapt to new normal ways of work, and the construction industry has not been spared. During the initial COVID-19 outbreak, foreign workers in the Maldives were deemed one of the most vulnerable groups, with an alarming number of positive cases have been among expatriate labourers.
As municipalities reopen facilities and welcome back employees, it is important to recognize that there will be new workplace norms. This is likely to involve more rigid health standards and a greater emphasis on regular sanitization, to minimise the possibility of virus transmission and to keep workers safe.
In a social media post, Ms Aishath Shimani, Director of Planning & Development at Sun Siyam Resorts explained the new normal procedures and safety precautions set in place at ongoing Sun Siyam project sites. In her capacity as the Director of Planning & Development, Ms Shimani is the driving force behind all planning, construction and maintenance works of Sun Siyam properties.
According to Ms Shimani, a number of strategies and safety guidelines are adhered to at Sun Siyam project sites. Regular disinfection of workers’ accommodation quarters is performed, along with routine temperature checks and quarantining mechanisms set up for symptomatic workers.
The worksites are isolated and therefore, a safe local bubble where prevention guidelines are followed. Workers work in small groups to limit mass contacting, and there is a general understanding to limit casual gatherings.
Furthermore, it is important to follow the guidelines set by local and international health authorities. As such, workers are continually made aware of guidelines via their native languages.
The project managers are also encouraged to work with their management to ensure a smooth transition for the organization and employees as these new norms will create new cultures. Ms Shimani reiterated the importance of setting the tone by emphasizing concern for employees with compassion, openness and honesty during these challenging times.