17 July 2020 Update
We are taking action to help keep our employees, contractors and communities safe across our operations in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
We continue to proactively implement measures to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 on our site, including additional health screening, enhanced hygiene and physical distancing measures, roster and flight changes, and the use of masks for employees during travel.
We are following the guidance of the Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and we are working closely with our community and government stakeholders.
Our priority is the health and safety of our employees and our communities. We recognise that these are unprecedented circumstances and have taken significant steps to protect against the risk of COVID-19 on our site and in our communities.
Richard Storrie, President and COO, Diavik Diamond Mine
Here are some of the measures we are taking to help protect our employees, contractors, suppliers, customers and community:
- We have established an on-site, temporary laboratory to test our workforce for COVID-19 through the use of nasal and/or throat swabs. This acts as an additional precautionary measure to protect the health of our employees and Northwest Territories communities.
- Employees are required to practice physical distancing and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days prior to travelling to Diavik. All employees must complete self-monitoring forms, and anyone who is unwell is asked not to come to work.
- Within three days of scheduled travel, employees call a health assessment hotline to speak with a medical professional and complete a health screening and symptom check. Employees must receive clearance from the hotline before arriving at airports.
- A second health screening is performed at all airports prior to boarding. Individuals must receive clearance from the hotline or are denied boarding.
- All employees residing outside of the NWT/NU are restricted from using multi-person public transportation during the 14 days prior to arriving at Diavik, including travel to airports.
- We have arranged charter flights from points of pick up across Canada to eliminate the use of commercial flights.
- All employees are required to use facial barriers or masks from leaving their homes until they arrive at Diavik.
- We separate incoming and outgoing passengers during crew changes at site and at airports.
- We have rearranged crew changes to allow for 14 days between flights.
- Hand sanitising stations are available in high traffic areas.
- We have added hand-washing stations in the dining room, with visual cues to help maintain physical distance.
- Educational materials are available in key areas.
- We have appointed leaders as hygiene champions to ensure good hygiene practices
- Increased cleaning of lunchrooms, meeting rooms and food preparation areas
- Use of cleaning agents that meet the requirements for effectively sanitising against COVID-19
- Cleaning of buses and aircraft between trips, and of light vehicles as part of the pre-start walk around
- Light vehicle cleaning as part of pre-start walk around
- More frequent cleaning of:
- Recreation, communal, entertainment areas
- Dining and lunch rooms
- Washrooms and mine dry (change rooms)
- Stairways including handrails
Kitchen and dining hall
- All food is served (no self-service) or provided in single use packaging to prevent the spread of germs through utensils or cross contamination.
- During meal times, the dining hall has been physically separated for flow of traffic and distancing between people.
- This flow ensures all employees are hand washing prior to entering the dining hall.
- Chairs have been removed from the cafeteria and critical common areas to ensure employees stay 2 metres apart.
Physical distancing – at work
- While working and during breaks, employees keep their distance. Tables have been moved to ensure conversations happen at a distance.
- Face-to-face meetings have been limited. We have encouraged the use of digital tools like WebEx to reduce meetings and travel between buildings.
Physical distancing - recreation
- Gymnasiums and common exercise areas have been closed or modified to prevent cross contamination and allow for at least 2 metres of separation.
- Each exercise area has a supply of cleaning products for use before and after exercising.
- Squash courts and sauna have been closed.
- Team sports have been cancelled, however single player badminton is allowed.
In addition to the existing medical facilities, we have opened a temporary clinic and isolation area in the South Camp:
- Isolation procedures are in place. We also have a dedicated dorm as an isolation ward to manage employees suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, or who have been exposed to people who have COVID-19 symptoms.
- We have set up a temporary clinic in the South Camp to care for anyone moved to isolation.
10 April 2020 Update
There are many things we are doing to keep our employees, contractors and communities safe across our operations in the Northwest Territories.
Safety, health and wellbeing is our number one priority. We are following federal and territorial government guidance, complying with NWT Chief Public Health Office orders, as well as advice from medical experts. Here are some of the measures we’re taking:
- Increased frequency of cleaning of facilities, work areas/stations, vehicles, lunchrooms, food prep areas and high-touch areas
- Mandatory cleaning of gym equipment and visual cues to ensure physical distancing during recreation implemented
- Implemented return to work protocols, including a health screening questionnaire, health assessment hotline, airport screening and requiring medical clearance for anyone who has felt unwell
- Increased physical distancing procedures for team meetings, recreational and dining areas, including visual cues to ensure implementation
- Limited the number of people travelling together in planes, on buses and in small vehicles
- Provided training and educational information on proper hand washing techniques, physical distancing and self-isolation requirements
- Conducting COVID-19 business resilience meetings
- Leadership split shifts to cover 24/7 support, meetings by video conference
- All employees who can perform their responsibilities remotely have been asked to work from home
- Service for employees to return home for health or family emergencies, if required
- Employee assistance program to support our employees’, and their family members, mental health
Our goal is to keep our employees, contractors, suppliers, customers, and their families safe and healthy while sustaining operations.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve all experienced significant change – change in our families and communities, at work and around the world. By working together, our teams have managed to implement precautionary measures across site, change entire rosters and schedules. In just a few short weeks, we’ve adapted to a new normal and we did so safely.
Richard Storrie, President and COO, Diavik Diamond Mine
Fly In, Fly Out (FIFO) and Other Travel
We have halted all non-essential work-related travel and, instead, have asked teams to connect in other ways, such as WebEx or Skype. And most of our office based teams are working from home.
We have also changed our FIFO roster to protect our people and communities, implementing the following measures:
- Taking proactive steps to protect small communities by eliminating travel to and from these communities, and ensuring employees and contractors who reside in twelve isolated communities in the Northwest Territories receive paid leave
- Reducing site access and frequency of flights (only essential personnel at site)
- Transporting all personnel to site on charter flights through terminals that are not part of the main airports, and denying access to those that have taken any form of public transportation prior to their flight
- Pre-screening and temperature testing before flights for all workforce members going to site
We will continue to monitor the situation, and introduce further key measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as needed.