On April 7th, 2020, a few days before Ecuador imposed a quarantine because of SARS Covid-19, the country's two main oil pipelines broke due a landslide next to El Coca River.
More than 500 kilometers 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 cleanup activities, Lamor faced a considerable challenge as our workforce increased from 30 to 400 people working at once.
We implemented new protocols and safety procedures as well as devoted new resources to the project. This included, but was not limited to, personnel being tested for COVID-19 prior to beginning activities as well as during and after to ensure any possible spread was contained and managed on time. In addition, during operations all employees were required to wear masks, maintain a safe distance and hygiene protocols. All equipment, vehicles, rest areas, offices and camps were regularly disinfected and there was assigned medical personnel monitoring all employees.
When, despite all precautions, positive COVID cases were found, all personnel at risk was tested and quarantined before being allowed to resumed their work.
Operations, HSE-Q, Management, and HR continued to be committed and complied with all protocols, resulting in six months of continued work after which, Lamor concluded the clean up process of more than 200km of river bank. This included the management of twelve control points on El Coca and Napo rivers, as well as three project camps.
During the operation an average of 300 people were hired at a time, with the number growing at the height of the process to 500 people who were working in the various sites.
Many of the communities around the clean up sites suffered a high level of COVID-19 cases which, considering that many of our workers belonged to those communities, resulted in a number of positive cases in our camps. Fortunately, Lamor Ecuador BU’s health department was prepared and was able to implement control and quarantine procedures that effectively reduced the spread and allowed activities to continue. All infected collaborators recovered without any complications and medical follow-ups were put in place for continued precaution and control.
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