As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout British Columbia and the world at large, Teck Resources Limited, the Elk Valley’s largest employer, is making moves to curb the advance of the virus.
“As part of our focus on ensuring the health and safety of our employees and communities, we are implementing further measures to reduce the risk of transmission and support efforts to combat COVID-19,” said Nic Milligan, manager of social responsibility at Teck.
One of the largest measures being taken is a temporary slowing down of operations in B.C. and Alberta. The coal company will be “further reducing our crews by up to 50 per cent of regular levels,” according to Milligan.
All operations in the Elk Valley will be affected by this slow down, which is scheduled to last an initial period of approximately two weeks. After the two week period is up, Teck plans to re-evaluate since the coronavirus situation is evolving so rapidly.
“All employees available for work will continue to be paid as normal during this two week period,” Milligan confirmed. “Production will continue at sites on a reduced basis, in addition to essential services such as safety and environmental management.”
On March 17, Teck announced the original measures that were being implemented across their offices and operations to help halt the spread of coronavirus. According to Milligan, these measures are still in place after this new announcement.
“These additional measures we are taking are focused on safeguarding the health and safety of our people and our communities and build on the extensive preventative measures already implemented which include: enhanced disinfection protocols, eliminating all large group gatherings and reducing bus occupancy, screening contractors and external visitors, requiring employees with symptoms not to come to work and self isolate, and implementing work from home where feasible.”
Milligan noted that Teck is continuing to work with their unions and following all guidance from government health authorities regarding operations. As the situation evolves, the mining company intends to reassess the situation and adapt their response as necessary.