It's been busy times there in the accommodation village, a short distance away from the Hanhikivi 1 construction site.
After the holiday season, workers are returning to work, from near and far, most of them from abroad. More than a fifth of the accommodation capacity of a thousand people is reserved. Currently, 30 of more than 100 people in the accommodation village are staying in a voluntary quarantine and waiting to get to work.
Extensive reorganizations have taken place in the accommodation village to minimize the risk of the coronavirus to spread. The arrangements have also had been tested in practice. A total of three residents of the accommodation village have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 infection during the pandemic.
The arrangements are working well: in all cases, persons both affected and exposed to the virus have been in voluntary quarantine and have not made it to the construction site.
Arrangements based on the THL's recommendations
The COVID arrangements in the accommodation village are based strictly on the recommendations of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
Foreign workers are in self-quarantine for ten days after arriving in the accommodation village. Quarantine may be suspended if a person has received a negative corona test result from a test taken not earlier than 72 hours before the entry and the second negative result from a test taken not earlier than 72 hours after the entry.
"Foreign workers arriving in groups stay on their own floor after the arrival. After the quarantine or negative corona test results, a worker can return to normal living arrangements. Usually, the employees working for the same employer live in the same building," explains Daniil Illarionov, Project Manager of WTS Services Oy, a company operating the accommodation village.
Suppose a resident of an accommodation village is diagnosed with coronavirus infection. In that case, they are immediately directed to live in the building reserved for the people diagnosed. Persons exposed to the virus will be screened immediately and directed to separate accommodation reserved for exposed persons. Individuals exposed to the virus are placed in an additional fourteen-day quarantine or required to have two negative corona test results to return to everyday practice.
People diagnosed with or exposed to the coronavirus are taken care of
In the practical arrangements for quarantine, WTS Services works closely with both the employers of the residents of the accommodation village and Titan-2, the main contractor of the Hanhikivi 1 project.
"We take care that those who are ill or exposed to the virus receive food and other essential commodities such as thermometers. Our officers also enquire after their condition several times a day," Illarionov describes.
Although according to Illarionov, people are a little bit tired with special arrangements, the instructions have been taken seriously and followed.
Fennovoima has only the necessary manpower on the site
Fennovoima's Occupational safety manager Olli-Pekka Pirilä is satisfied with the arrangements of the accommodation village and the entire construction site, as well as the dialogue with the various participants of the project, the authorities, and the municipality of Pyhäjoki.
"We have maintained situation awareness with the help of regular meetings as well as agreed on required actions," Olli-Pekka says.
At the site, all the national and regional recommendations are followed, starting with hand hygiene and the use of face masks. Work and working conditions have been modified so that the occurrence and spread of the coronavirus can be prevented as effectively as possible.
In the case of Fennovoima, only the necessary occupation is present at the construction site.
"We follow remote work recommendations and do everything we can remotely. However, if a presence at the site is required, we follow national recommendations and the company's internal policies. Under Fennovoima's instructions, for example, employees of the same team are not working at the site at the same time," says Pirilä.
The work has progressed despite exceptional circumstances
Although the coronavirus has slowed down individual workers' access to the site and required various special arrangements, works on the Hanhikivi 1 site have progressed at a steady pace.
At the end of the last year, a summary of the work done on the site during 2020 was published on the Hanhikivi1.fi website. The article allows us to learn more about current work on the Hanhikivi 1 construction site.