Keeping Each Other Safe
11 September 2020
We are taking action to help keep our employees, contractors and communities safe at our operation in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
We continue to proactively implement measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19 on our site, including mandatory COVID-19 testing, health screening (eg phone calls with medical professionals prior to travel), enhanced hygiene and physical distancing measures, roster and flight changes, and the use of masks.
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:
- 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 five days of scheduled travel, leaders connect with employees, usually by phone, to review any new requirements and confirm their adherence to distancing and monitoring requirements.
- 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, including temperature check, 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 Northwest Territories and Nunavut are restricted from using multi-person public transportation during the 14 days prior to arriving at Diavik, including travel to airports.
- Charter flights fly directly from points of pick up across Canada to eliminate the use of commercial flights. Flights that originate in the south do not stop anywhere else in the Northwest Territories and only land at Diavik.
- We require all employees to use facial barriers or masks from leaving their homes until two days after they arrive at Diavik.
- We separate incoming and outgoing passengers during crew changes at site and at airports.
COVID-19 Testing On-site
- We have established an on-site, temporary laboratory to test our workforce for COVID-19 using nasopharyngeal swabs (polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing).
- Our on-site lab allows us to collect and process samples in the most efficient way and provides a precautionary measure to protect the health of our employees and Northwest Territories communities.
- We prioritise analysing tests from high-risk areas first.
- Employees continue to wear masks at all times, unless they are eating, drinking, smoking or alone in their rooms or offices, until all results have been returned from the laboratory.
- Presumptive positive results from our on-site testing are sent to an external provincial laboratory for confirmation.
Temporary Clinic and Isolation Area
- In addition to the existing medical facilities, we have opened a temporary clinic and isolation area in our South Camp.
- 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.
- Employees who are placed in isolation have access to a medical team at all times.
- Our newly established support team provides them with meal delivery, laundry services and helps address any other needs they may have.
- We have created a dedicated walking path to safely allow those in isolation to access fresh air for both their health and mental wellbeing.
Whether working, eating or exercising, employees keep their distance:
- We have moved tables to ensure conversations happen at a distance.
- We have limited face-to-face meetings and encouraged the use of digital tools like WebEx to reduce physical meetings and travel between buildings.
- During meal times, we have physically separated the dining hall to allow for flow of traffic and distancing between people.
- Gymnasiums and common exercise areas have been closed or modified to prevent cross contamination and allow for at least two metres of separation.