Bosses keen to make up for lost time

Bosses keen to make up for lost time

CONSTRUCTION firm bosses who suspended operations when pollution levels soared last week are considering making their staff work overtime to make up for lost hours.

Some companies actually put projects on ice or sent their staff home due to the hazardous conditions last week.

As the skies cleared and conditions returned to normal on Monday, those that did take action were keen to ensure projects remained on track.

Mr Jeffrey Lim, director of crane company BD Cranetech, told how his workers were not allowed to work beyond 7pm last week so they could rest indoors for longer.

He said: "We lost about 10 to 12 hours last week. Work has resumed now, and we have to closely monitor the workers' productivity. They will have to do overtime too."

Things were also back to normal at Hexacon Construction. The company suspended strenuous activities such as plastering and working on reinforcement bars when the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings were above 300.

The workers stopped work completely last Friday afternoon when the three-hourly PSI reading hit 401 around noon at one point.

Its general manager Dominic Choy said: "Anyone who feels uncomfortable is still advised to stop. When the weather is better, we will see whether we have opportunities to catch up."

Construction company Tiong Seng stopped work for two hours around noon last Friday at Housing Board development Waterway Terraces in Punggol.

Its director Derick Pay said the PSI was around 400 at that time, and all 500 construction workers were told to stop work and return to their quarters.

Mr Pay said workers will be told to stop doing potentially hazardous tasks such as working from heights if the PSI hits 300.

Engineering firm McConnell Dowell, which has ongoing projects on Jurong Island and Orchard Road, reported no significant impact on the progress of its projects - despite also sending 500 employees home last Thursday afternoon.

Its regional operations manager David Christodoulou said: "We will still have to see how it goes for the next few days. But we are not doing anything more than normal. We lost a couple of days, but sometimes, when it rains, you also have to stop."

Meanwhile, fast-food giants McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut have resumed deliveries after a suspension last Thursday.

OpenNet, the builder of Singapore's fibre broadband infrastructure, is back to fibre installation and repair work.

It had suspended work last Friday afternoon, but it was resumed later as the haze situation improved.

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