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Apr 3 2020

Statement — Measures to manage COVID-19 on the Keystone XL project

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With the current and evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we’ve provided some insight as to how Keystone XL is responding to this situation. And, as safety is our number one value, we extend our sincerest well-wishes to the families affected, and we recognize the tremendous efforts of first responders and health professionals worldwide.

We have implemented some proactive measures as we continue to progress the Keystone XL project. 

International SOS assisting Keystone XL with COVID-19 prevention

Safety is our number one value! With the current and evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) conditions, we want to ensure our workforce and the surrounding communities are safe during Keystone XL’s pre-construction and construction activities.

We have sought the expertise and experience of International SOS, Corporate Medical Advisors, a member of the International SOS Group of companies, and their partner Beacon Occupational Health and Safety Services, to provide medical advisory and consultation services.

Want to learn more about International SOS, global leaders in medical and travel security, and how they will provide support for Keystone XL, read the following frequently asked questions. Also, learn more at InternationalSOS.com, CorporateMedicalAdvisors.com and BeaconOHSS.com

Implementing safety protocols at our construction sites

Keystone XL - COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Keystone XL and its prime contractors have taken proactive steps to manage the health risk and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus as we continue with work along the pipeline route in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

We have put into place policies and protocols that follow all guidelines from applicable regulatory agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have communicated our policies to local health agencies near our work sites.

We are committed to working closely with these agencies, keeping them informed of conditions at our work sites.

The policies and protocols, established for our work sites, include:

  • All contractors are required to have a comprehensive Contractor KXL Pandemic/ COVID-19 Plan
  • Contractors must manage workforce to ensure only essential workers are permitted to access project sites
  • All individuals must be COVID-19 symptom free prior to arrival on work site
  • Contractor must manage workforce to complete COVID-19 symptom check to ensure “high risk” personnel (known or suspected infected) do not report to worksite
  • Daily COVID-19 symptom check assessments will be completed either by personal disclosure when symptom free or by onsite medical check, including temperature screens (where required)
  • Maintain social and physical distancing – six feet (two metres) from one another, where possible, and addtional measures, including face masks and limiting exposure when six feet (two metres) is not possible
  • Continued use of good hand hygiene practice including safe hand-washing awareness and practice
  • Continued use of disinfecting and cleaning protocols including cleaning guidelines and safe material handling practices

Together, we will ensure our workforce and local communities remain safe, and that our important work continues.

Read the Keystone XL COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Protecting our teams, partners and communities

Throughout TC Energy, we’ve established policies and protocols for employees, contractors and visitors to manage their health risk and quell the spread of infection, including:

  • Staying connected to various levels of health and government agencies to ensure we’re aligned with recommended standards to meet risk levels
  • Proactively closing our major metropolitan offices and having our employees work remotely, cancelling non-critical travel and holding meetings with partners, where possible, via phone or video conferencing
  • Requiring that only employees who are critical to the safe and reliable operations are permitted to work in our offices and in the field.
  • Requiring all our workers to follow safe practices, including hygiene, avoiding large public gatherings, adhering to travel restrictions, and staying away from work if they are sick. 
  • Implementation of screening protocol for all workers and a detailed pre-access COVID-19 questionnaire.

International SOS Frequently Asked Questions

International SOS, Corporate Medical Advisors, a member of the International SOS Group of companies, and their partner Beacon Occupational Health and Safety Services provide medical advisory and consultation services. International SOS was established in 1985 and Beacon Occupational Health and Safety Services was established in 1999. In 2014, International SOS and Beacon entered into a partnership to provide seamless medical consultation services throughout the U.S. and world.

International SOS operates in 92 countries globally.

International SOS currently employs over 11,000 people with over 2,500 physicians, many of whom are experts in their field of study. Corporate Medical Advisors brings together an experienced team of physicians to provide 24/7 Medical Directorship through dedicated lead physicians in both the United States and Canada. The Medical Director team can interface with any department, functional stakeholder, vendor or service provider when medical-related questions or issues arise, both in Canada, the US and internationally. Beacon has 200 medical staff, including board certified Emergency Medicine, Family Practice and Occupational Health MDs.

International SOS has supported numerous pipeline projects and companies in the oil and gas industry throughout Canada and the U.S., including Coastal GasLink.

Corporate Medical Advisors will work with TC Energy’s COVID-19 crisis management team to ensure that the COVID-19 response is medically led and coordinated and that advice and guidance on occupational medicine matters includes public and environmental health focus and supports medical community leadership discussions. For the Keystone XL project, they are in a consultative role. But as in all their projects, they deploy their vetted medical professionals as needed; from an EMR on a single site up to a full-scale clinic led by a Nurse Practitioner. Currently, in most of their remote sites, telephonic consultation is the most common to assess an individual’s symptoms related to COVID-19. This protects the health of the patient, other individuals who might be in the clinic for other reasons, and the health care workers.

They frequently engage local health care providers as part of the site level program; carefully balancing between referring where appropriate and not overburdening local resources.

Critical. In rural areas where local health care systems can quickly be overburdened. International SOS medical professionals are trained to provide the best possible care to the workers, while limiting off-site transfers. Currently their historical off-site transfer rate is under two percent.

Currently they are providing pandemic planning support and medical advisory and consultation, but they have the capacity and capability to provide field level health care professionals as required.