The Trans Mountain Exapnsion Project (TMEP) has been working in our community over the past month and has well established guidelines that are in line with the Northern Health Authority’s recommendations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within their workforce and their host communities. By the end of May, there will be up to 50 Trans Mountain employees & contractors working in and around Valemount, in order to prepare the contractor’s yard (located across from the Best Western) and their worker camp (located along Whiskey Fill Road).
Trans Mountain (TMEP) employees and contractors are:
- Purchasing food from restaurants and businesses that are providing delivery.
- Reducing the impact on the community’s grocery retailers through the above, and will take further measures by providing their own food service within their camp facilities, once built.
- Working according to a 6-day-on and 1-day-off rotation. Few, if any of the present employees are moving between Valemount and their home communities, because of a lack of time to do so and to protect the community against COVID-19.
- Working days are long, which limits their ability to interact with community members.
- Not utilizing the Valemount Health Centre and will have their own medical staff in their camp once it is built.
Below is Trans Mountain Expansion Project’s response to concerns regarding workers coming into the community during the COVID-19 pandemic:
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
Here is the link to our update.
Northern Health has been extremely proactive in communicating with companies that use industrial work camps. This plan has been reviewed by our executive and H&S team and is being fully incorporated in our all planning.
Following the guidance of Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, the Province has released guidelines for industrial work camps to support their response to the COVID-19. The new COVID-19 Interim Communicable Disease Control Guidelines for Industrial Camps can be found here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/employers-businesses/industrial-camps
An accompanying Information Bulletin can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0018-000598. The guidelines are intended to highlight key preparedness and response measures that should be taken by industrial camps in relation to COVID-19.