Trans Mountain’s first priority has and will always be the health and safety of our workforce, their families and our communities. During this COVID-19 pandemic, Trans Mountain and its construction contractors have been working diligently together to ensure adherence to all advice and direction from government and health officials both provincially and federally, while ensuring the uninterrupted safe operation of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the continued, safe construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
“With the rapid and changing global situation around COVID-19, we share and understand the questions and observations that are surfacing from Indigenous communities and our stakeholders regarding our Project and worker safety,” said Ian Anderson, President and CEO of Trans Mountain Corporation. “We are continuously assessing this unprecedented situation and remain focused and committed to ensuring health and safety. We are well underway with Project construction in several areas of B.C. and Alberta and we plan to continue construction as long as we can do so in a way that protects all of our people and the broader community.”
“We are confident we have executed all the requirements of health authorities and governments and we are continuing to build on those safety measures at all our work and operations sites,” added Anderson. “We continue to operate the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline system to ensure that we can provide necessary petroleum products to British Columbia.”
“I can assure all Canadians, we will do everything in our power to not put workers, communities and Indigenous peoples at any COVID-19 risk, and if there is an escalation in the health officials guidance, or if we are not confident we can provide a safe work place, we will initiate safe work stand down procedures,” Anderson reinforced.
“The relationships and partnerships we have with our Contractors, and the many Indigenous communities and businesses across the pipeline and Project, are critical and all unique situations and concerns are being heard and responded to.” Anderson added.
Trans Mountain is also monitoring any impacts to the Project as a result of potential interruptions to our supply chain due to logistics issues. We are also tracking any directives or changes to ongoing regulatory processes from the Canada Energy Regulator.
Trans Mountain is constantly monitoring the guidelines from health officials and some of the specific measures we, together with our construction contractors, are taking on our construction sites include:
- staggering work shifts to minimize the number of people on any given site including adhering to the recommendations being provided by health authorities
- following physical distancing guidelines between workers – at on-site and in-site offices
- staggering lunch and coffee breaks to minimize number of people gathering
- minimizing or eliminating in-person meetings, holding necessary meetings outside (for example, safety meetings), in smaller groups or via technology
- enhancing cleaning and sanitization protocols and increased availability of sanitation supplies
- increasing bus, vehicle and trailer cleaning requirements and frequency and reducing the number of people being transported per vehicle to adhere to health authority recommendations
- ensuring that workers orientation includes COVID-19 expectations, awareness and prevention
- ensuring non-essential workforce members are not entering any of our worksites or offices
- ensuring all individuals have access to appropriate safety equipment, and understand the expectation surrounding personal hygiene
- temperature testing people entering the sites for fever or sickness
- using Health and Safety personnel to monitor implementation of COVID-19 response guidelines on site
While each worksite is unique, each of our construction contractors are required to adopt government and company health and safety measures to ensure construction can safely continue, while ensuring the protection of our workforce on the ground. We work with our construction contractors to revisit and update plans and monitor implementation on a daily basis.