On April 7th, 2020, just days before Ecuador implemented a quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's two main oil pipelines broke as a result of a landslide near the El Coca River.
This disaster caused over 500 kilometers of rivers to be affected, necessitating a rapid and efficient response. However, given the rising number of COVID-19 cases at the time, Lamor faced a considerable challenge in managing the response effort. The company's workforce had to increase from just 30 people to 400 people working at once to manage the oil spill response and cleanup activities safely and effectively.
We implemented new protocols, safety procedures, and allocated additional resources to the oil spill response project. These measures included testing personnel for COVID-19 before, during, and after activities to ensure any possible spread was contained and managed promptly. All employees were also required to wear masks, maintain safe distances, and adhere to hygiene protocols during operations.
Additionally, all equipment, vehicles, rest areas, offices, and camps were regularly disinfected, and medical personnel were assigned to monitor all employees. Despite these precautions, positive COVID-19 cases did arise, and we responded by testing and quarantining all personnel at risk before allowing them to resume work.
“More than 500 kilometres of rivers were affected, and a rapid and efficient response was required. Given the rising number of COVID-19 cases, together with the amount of people required for oil spill response and clean-up activities, Lamor was able to help in this considerable environmental challenge impacting large and sensitive forest and water areas,” says Danilo Alvarez, Project Manager at Lamor Ecuador.
Throughout the six-month cleanup process, Lamor's Operations, HSE-Q, Management, and HR teams remained committed to complying with all protocols. As a result, Lamor successfully completed the clean-up of more than 200 kilometers of riverbank, managing twelve control points on the El Coca and Napo rivers, as well as three project camps.
During the operation, we hired an average of 300 people at a time, with the number increasing to 500 people at the height of the process across various sites. Many of the communities surrounding the clean-up sites had high levels of COVID-19 cases, which resulted in several positive cases among workers in the camps, as many of them belonged to those communities. However, Lamor Ecuador's health department was prepared and implemented control and quarantine procedures effectively, which reduced the spread of the virus and allowed activities to continue. All infected collaborators recovered without complications, and medical follow-ups were put in place for continued precaution and control.
Let’s clean the world
Reach out, our shared journey towards a clean planet starts here.Learn More
Stay in the know
Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about innovations enabling the survival of our dear planet.