Sep 4, 2020

UPDATED: COVID-19 Preparedness FAQs

We have received a number of questions about preparations LNG Canada and JGC Fluor (JFJV) are taking with respect to potential novel coronavirus (COVID-19) risks, at our worksite and the off-site worker accommodations we use throughout the region, and in the local community. We can assure you that together we are taking prudent measures to help reduce the potential spread of the virus.

Vince Kenny, LNG Canada Construction Manager

Berni Molz, JGC Fluor Construction Director

Updated September 4, 2020

What actions are being taken in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

LNG Canada and our Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor, JGC Fluor, continue to closely monitor and respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Our core focus remains on protecting the health, safety and well-being of First Nations and community stakeholders living adjacent to our project site in Kitimat and in Terrace, and workers on site who may be at risk of exposure.

JGC Fluor continues to formally communicate to its workforce and subcontractors actions to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.

Preventing the spread of infection and protecting the health, safety and well-being of local communities and workers at site is our primary focus, and the first step to combating COVID-19. Together with JGC Fluor and our lodging providers, we have launched specific hygiene campaigns across the project; these include information about effective hand washing practices and cough etiquette, and good workplace practices including the frequent cleaning of common touch points such as doorknobs, handles, and tabletops.

In addition, we continue to train and educate project personnel on proper protocol for safely managing a presumptive illness at site.

Effective management of communicable diseases, including COVID-19, is a key part of our health management plans, developed in consultation with Northern Health, the regional health authority. We continue to work with Northern Health to stay up to date on required protocols for identification, testing, and quarantine of suspected cases, and LNG Canada and JGC Fluor are working collaboratively with contractors, medical staff and lodging operators to further align and embed procedures across the project.

What is LNG Canada doing to reduce COVID-19 risks to the community and workforce?

The following infographic outlines some of the key measures LNG Canada and JGC Fluor (JFJV) are taking to reduce the risk of COVID-19:

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What is LNG Canada doing to reduce COVID-19 risks to the community and workforce?
LNG Canada and JGC Fluor. Right click to download.

Click an image to view the full gallery.

What is LNG Canada doing to reduce the COVID-19 risk associated with commuting to work?

Commuter traffic has been reduced significantly. For those people still commuting, these are the steps they must take when moving to and from lodging and the worksite:

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What is LNG Canada doing to reduce the COVID-19 risk associated with commuting to work?
LNG Canada and JGC Fluor. Right click to download.

Click an image to view the full gallery.

What steps are being taken to protect people living in worker accommodation centres?

We are working closely with all workforce accommodations providers and with Northern Health to understand the potential threat of COVID-19 on the worker population, with a focus on promoting hygiene and preparing for the potential COVID-19 impacts.

All accommodation operators have increased cleaning and sanitizing regiments, and hand washing is mandatory before people enter any dining room and lunchroom areas.

All workers have been directed to use elevated levels of hygiene to reduce their risk of exposure, both personally and at work. This includes frequent hand washing, covering their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, avoiding touching their face with their hands if they haven’t been washed, and using sanitizing wipes to clean surfaces.

Are temperature checks conducted for workers, and if so, where?

Non-local workers who must travel to the region by air undergo no fewer than three temperature checks: prior to boarding charter flights; prior to checking in at a lodge; on check-out at a lodge. For commercial flights, the commercial airlines and local airport protocols apply.

What onus is placed on each worker, with respect to maintaining COVID19-related protocols?

It is constantly reinforced that individuals working at the LNG Canada project site must maintain awareness of their employer’s specific protocols, as each will vary depending on the makeup of their workforce and work scope. It is every employee’s responsibility, per the province’s April 23, 2020 Public Health Order regarding industrial camps, to self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of illness and to inform their employers and designated coordinators should symptoms develop. In addition, LNG Canada contractors have introduced several of their own reporting tools, such as written symptom forms that are submitted to designated coordinators at specific intervals and swipe-in/swipe-out symptoms reporting at the start and end of each shift.

What sort of self-isolation measures have been introduced?

If an employee does not feel well, they must stay home, or in their lodge room. They must call their supervisor and on-site medical personnel to inform them of their condition. Notwithstanding the B.C. government’s self-isolation advisory which includes both 10-day and 14-day periods, our site has mandated a 14-day self-isolation period. Once a guest vacates a lodge room, the room will be left untouched for a certain period of time before cleaning services commence. The lodges employ a rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regimen to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses.

Are workers required to wear personal protective equipment such as masks at site and in lodges?

LNG Canada, our prime contractor JGC Fluor and our subcontractors apply the two-meter physical distance rule and other COVID-19 compliance protocols, at the work site and at the worker accommodation facilities. These measures have been successfully adopted. We require workers and supervisors to evaluate the ability to maintain physical distance while performing work on site. If physical distance cannot be maintained, workers are to wear face coverings to ensure COVID-19 compliance.

Will the number of non-local workers at site start to increase, and how will they arrive?

The number of non-local workers at site and staying in worker accommodation centres is expected to increase as we move further into the summer months. The majority of non-local workers will be on extended rotations, in order to limit their travel requirements. While some non-local workers travel to the area by vehicle and commercial flights, the majority rely on charter flights. All flights operate below capacity to respect social distancing protocols on planes.

What about marine transportation? Is there a risk that people aboard ships may bring the virus to shore?

We closely follow Transport Canada guidelines for foreign-flagged shipping. We, and our shipping contractors, adhere to the federal government’s directives, ensuring that crews and shipments travelling between Asia and our project site do not put communities and workers at risk.

Foreign crews arriving at Terminal B do not disembark from the cargo ship when they are in the Port of Kitimat (only exceptions being humanitarian and other events per international conventions, and the Chief Officer and crew undertaking cargo discharge.) Foreign crews to our site are not undertaking crew changes and they are not disembarking from their ship for sightseeing or recreational proposes. This approach mitigates the risk of any potential transmission (of COVID-19 or another virus).

Long-established protocols for visiting ships require them to declare any sick persons onboard, before they arrive in Canada. They must also officially inform government authorities through the 96 Hour PAIR (Pre-Arrival Information Reporting) when seeking permission to enter and berth at a port in Canada. In addition, some shippers have initiated daily health checks for all crew members for the entirety of their sailings. For more information please read Transport Canada’s updated guidelines for health reporting.

Will LNG Canada and JGC Fluor test non-local workers as an additional measure to protect the rest of the workforce and community?

All COVID-19 testing is within the jurisdiction of the Northern Health authority and is subject to strict confidentiality laws. LNG Canada and JGC Fluor continue to follow the guidance of the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), BC’s Ministry of Health and public health officials on how and when to administer tests for confirmation of the COVID virus or the presence of antibodies. According to the BC CDC’s COVID-19 Testing Guidelines for British Columbia, “COVID-19 testing is not recommended for individuals without symptoms.” For now, testing is targeted towards symptomatic individuals. LNG Canada and JGC Fluor will continue to take direction from public health officials and the regional authority in applying their parameters for testing. In addition to the comprehensive social distancing and hygiene protocols established at site and in workforce accommodation centres, the project works with on-site health professionals (ISOS and MedCor), working closely with health authorities, to help identify and prevent potential illnesses.

Other major projects around the province seem to be ramping up more aggressively. Why aren’t you moving more quickly, with more workers?

From the start, LNG Canada’s response to the COVID-19 situation has been deliberately cautious and carefully managed, aligned with government and public health direction, and with guidance from the local community and First Nations. Our top priority is protecting our people, community and project. Given the size of our project, certain realities with respect to location and environment that other major projects in the province may not face, and our commitments to stakeholders, we believe our approach is responsible and correct.

Do workers at site have access to their own food supplies in the event there are shortages in our communities?

All food supplies - including perishables – for workers at site are purchased through large regional and global suppliers, such as Sysco and GFS. Community food supplies are not at risk.

When is Cedar Valley Lodge scheduled to open, and how many workers will it accommodate?

The first group of residents took occupancy at Cedar Valley Lodge this summer. It will be fully operational later this year, with approximately 2,500 “heads in beds.” The 1.2 million square foot facility will ultimately accommodate 4,500 LNG Canada project workers at a time.




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