The Government of Fiji provided a list of the essential services during the lockdown period and Architects and Engineer’s were part of that list. As ‘Erasito’ is a service provider for Consulting Engineering, we were granted permission to carry out work especially for the provision of conducting building inspections and compiling Engineering Cyclone Certificates.
Amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, businesses such as banks needed to operate, houses needed to be completed, shops needed to be stocked and so on. As announced by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoH) 2m social distancing was to be maintained, wearing of masks, washing of hands and getting fully vaccinated was identified as the safest practice to carry out inspections, providing services and operating as a company.
Being mindful of the safety guidelines from MoH, Erasito took steps further and ensured that the equipment and the vehicle interior is disinfected. Also, the Staff carrying out inspections took a shower and changed into clean clothing prior to entering the workstation. Working onsite was always going to be a challenge when undertaking building inspections for cyclone compliance. The Contractor has to open sample sections of the building roof or wall cladding. Being in immediate physical contact with the Contractor’s equipment or tools (such as ladders or roof cladding) was inevitable and also maintaining social distancing especially in congested spaces was near impossible.
However, the inspections were successful as hand sanitizers were used after any physical contact with equipment or tools and through effective communication with the Contractors, the sections were opened and then the inspections were carried out. Whilst the first section was inspected, the Contractor opened/closed areas for inspection in another section of the building and so forth.
Author: Altaf Shah
September 2021 Edition