The Straits Times: Device helps trace close contacts at construction sites

If a worker is found to be infected with the coronavirus at a construction site, the entire worksite may have to be shut to contain the spread of the virus.

But with a contact tracing device for workers, it might not be necessary to close the entire site because people who had close contact with the infected worker can quickly be identified and separated from other healthy workers.

Canadian contact tracing technology company TraceSafe was selected through a government crowdsourcing initiative called the Open Innovation Platform to develop this system.

TraceSafe Asia-Pacific managing director Jasling Ong said: "Without such a system, companies may have to wait for quarantine orders and the like from the authorities to be issued, and firms may be in limbo for about a week."

But with this system, if a Covid-19 case is found, companies can decide in a day on what immediate steps to take, she added.

The Building and Construction Authority had in July last year put out a challenge for a tech solution that can manage Covid-19 contact tracing at construction sites, among other things.

Construction firm Boustead Singapore awarded TraceSafe $50,000 to develop the contact tracing solution, which was then tested in January at a company construction site in Kranji, with about 50 devices deployed.

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