How Industry is Keeping the Community and Workers Safe
With the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on our world, one priority remains the same for industry in Alberta’s Heartland: the health and safety of our workforce, their families, and our communities.
“Our member companies are accountable and responsible to the public, especially our local communities,” says Laurie Danielson, Executive Director of the Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA). “Often what impacts industry will impact our community, so we take the approach that we are all in this together”.
And while the focus on safety and emergency preparedness is certainly not new to industry, the pandemic has introduced the need for additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes regular communication, sharing best practices and implementing new standards and protocols on site. Since last spring, companies have put into place all or most of the following measures:
- Enhanced cleaning and sterilization, including hand washing stations and hand sanitizer units located across sites.
- Increased cleaning efforts across all sites with emphasis on high-touch areas.
- Mandatory face coverings in all common areas.
- Changing work procedures to increase physical distancing between co-workers.
- Requiring and supporting the majority of employees to work remotely and allowing only those employees most critical to safe operations to work on site.
- Reduced meeting room capacity and shared offices to maintain appropriate physical distance.
- Temperature monitoring for employees and contractors on site.
- Posting site-wide guidelines about COVID-19 health and safety practices at site entry and exit points.
- Adding parking spots on site to increase space between people. For workers bused to site, some companies like IPL added additional buses to their fleet to limit the number of people and increase physical distance on the bus.
- Ensuring adequate supply of personal protective equipment.
- Clear protocols for employees, contractors and supervisors for what to do if they are sick and experiencing symptoms.
- Following the guidance of Alberta Health Services to mitigate any potential spread of COVID-19.
“Energy workers are Alberta’s economic essential workers,” says Danielson. “During this time, it’s crucial the focus remains on everyone’s health and safety so our member companies can continue to deliver the services and resources our region relies on.”
Photo caption: Workers at Dow Canada practice physical distancing during a morning meeting.