Navigating the pandemic
As part of its infrastructure services business, Skanska maintains the highways network across Devon, which has the longest road network in England. It provides an essential service that has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
To make sure its operations were COVID-19 safe, Skanska had to make some changes in its approach to day-to-day operations. For instance, desk-based staff went straight to working from home, leaving the offices to those managing operations out on the network.
To maintain ‘business as usual’ out on the road network, the company had to think on its feet and find solutions, with the added challenge of government and industry guidance changing almost daily. With the common goal of health and safety for everyone, the team at Skanska pulled together.
Taking preventative measures
As a construction company, Skanska is following the guidelines set out by the Construction Leadership Council, which has shared regular guidance notes on what is needed to run a site during the pandemic, emphasising the importance of good hygiene practices.
After reviewing its cleaning regime with Ecocleen, Skanska introduced an enhanced cleaning regime for the Devon contract, covering all the touchpoints and other significant risk areas to reduce or remove COVID-19 transmission.
Skanska worked with Ecocleen to increase the frequency of cleaning in its main depots, used daily by operatives, and extended this to six satellite depots that aren’t used as regularly but are essential for Skanska’s winter maintenance operation. During the summer, these depots provided an extra stop-off point and welfare facility for operatives – 15 sites in total.
To ensure operatives had enough facilities available to them to enable the right levels of hygiene, Skanska also installed an additional five portable toilets at strategic points across Devon, with the Ecocleen team cleaning them twice each day. Ecocleen rose to the challenge, as they were in fairly remote locations.
With quieter roads, Skanska was able to deliver more of its planned road maintenance work, for which it needed on-site welfare facilities. Again, Skanska and Ecocleen worked quickly to make sure these sites are cleaned every day.
Delivering local expertise
The Ecocleen team tackled these challenges front on and delivered. Ecocleen was able to hit the mark and deliver the cleaning resources required for Skanska in a very timely manner. For this partnership to be successful, collaboration and speed of response were key. To stay efficient, Ecocleen set up a common Microsoft Teams channel, so that everyone from both companies had sight of all the information required to move forward quickly.
Skanska knew what it required as far as frequency and scope of cleanliness. Ecocleen took this one step further to provide the best advice from the team’s local experience, industry knowledge and understanding. Before COVID-19, cleaning was a structured and planned thing, with a set cleaning regime for each Skanska depot. Now, it is a service that is operationally led to adapt to changing needswith the added benefit of a strong and transparent partnership with Ecocleen.
“Since COVID-19, everybody is more aware of hygiene and more sceptical when they walk into a toilet or even a building as to whether it has been cleaned sufficiently. Hopefully, this means that cleaners will be valued more going forward, because in the past it hasn’t necessarily been looked upon as the type of role that it should be – it’s a hard job!” said Gary Williams, operations manager for Skanska at Devon Highways. “We have never been so close to a cleaning company before and we wouldn’t have been able to continue operating as normal without the help of Ecocleen.”