On March 17, 2020 Teck Resources Ltd. announced the various measures that they will be taking in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic within their operations.
According to a press release from Teck’s head office in Vancouver, the company will be “implementing extensive preventative measures across its offices and operations in order to safeguard the health of its employees.” The coal company intends to do so while still continuing to operate.
“We are focused on continuing to ensure the health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we operate while maintaining employment to the extent possible through this evolving challenge,” said Robin Sheremeta, senior vice president of coal for Teck.
In order to still maintain employment and meet the threat of COVID-19, Teck has instituted the following measures.
They will be reducing or eliminating all in person meetings and other large gatherings as well as using enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols in areas such as employee buses and work areas. Teck is also promoting personal preventative measures, such as handwashing, to all of their employees. On top of this, Teck will be screening contractors and external visitors to any of their sites for risk factors and symptoms.
Another step being taken by the company is increasing social distancing practices on site by reducing the number of passengers on Teck buses, separating groups of employees, cancelling large meetings, and making the move from in-person to electronic communication.
Any Teck employees who show symptoms or are in close contact with someone who has symptoms are being told to stay home. Likewise, any employees returning from international travel have been directed to self-isolate.
Teck also noted that they were reducing their numbers of on site staff as much as possible and implementing work from home procedures for office staff. They are also working on expanding sick leave coverage for employees who are affected by the virus.
“We are implementing extensive protocols in response to COVID-19 to safeguard our employees and support community efforts to limit transmission,” stated Shehzad Bharmal, vice president, North America operations, base metals.
In their press release, Teck noted that because their operating sites are so large, employees are widely spaced out and typically do not work together in large groups. This has allowed them to continue mine operations to date. The company has stated they will be adapting their response to the ongoing crisis as necessary and that their primary focus remains the health and safety of employees.