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Work resumes on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

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World Pipelines,

Following a voluntary review of its safety and workplace practices, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project has begun the restart process for construction. A staged remobilisation of the company’s 7000-strong workforce has begun this week.

Following a voluntary review of its safety and workplace practices, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project has begun the restart process for construction. A staged remobilisation of the company’s 7000-strong workforce has begun this week.

In the wake of two serious workplace incidents that took place over the past few months, Trans Mountain executed a voluntary safety stand down and undertook a thorough review and examination of all workplace safety protocols and practices. The Canada Energy Regulator and other regulators continue to independently examine these events and Trans Mountain is working in full co-operation with their respective inquiries.

As part of the safety stand down process and the investigations into the incidents, the company and its contractors identified opportunities for enhancements to safety measures, some of which may have been contributing factors to the events of the past few months. The company focused on and reviewed matters of compliance, communication, near-miss worksite reviews and reporting, and workers’ fitness for duty, as a post-incident investigation revealed an isolated case of a worker failing a drug and alcohol test.

In response to the thorough review of safety programmes within Trans Mountain and with its contractors, the board and senior leadership of Trans Mountain have taken immediate steps to enhance the safety culture to ensure the company’s workplace practices and procedures are of the highest safety standards. Workplace safety is the highest priority.

The restart process will begin with the safety re-training and re-orientation of all supervisors and workers – before construction resumes. All employees and management are personally committed to keeping all aspects of workplace safety paramount, so all workers will remain safe on the job.

Specific enhancements to Trans Mountain’s safety procedures include:

  • More rigorous job-site safety training, particularly regarding the safe operation of equipment in proximity to other workers and communication between workers.
  • Enhanced worksite inspections and regular audits.
  • Rigorous incident and near-miss reporting supported by corrective action plans and systems.
  • Upgraded communications equipment and protocols for its effective operation on job sites.
  • Strengthened site supervision and the identification of daily site safety champions.
  • Better prior safety planning around higher-risk work, including the completion of detailed worksite plans to control personnel movements, heavy equipment locations and supervisory responsibilities
  • Augmented fitness for duty assessments, including drug and alcohol testing.
  • Increased hiring and training of personnel specifically responsible for ensuring safety during higher-risk work and day-to-day operations.

Trans Mountain states that is dedicated to the safety of its employees, suppliers and stakeholders and is committed to ensuring all safety management systems are in place, including COVID-19 protocols, to make sure everyone returns to work safely. Every worker returning to the Project will undergo a COVID-19 test and a fitness for duty test before being allowed on a job site.

Trans Mountain states that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project will unlock new global markets; help advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, including through economic opportunities; and generate revenue to help fund clean energy and climate solutions for Canada.



For more news and technical articles from the oil and gas pipeline industry, read the latest issue of World Pipelines magazine.

World Pipelines’ February 2021 issue

The February 2021 issue of World Pipelines includes: a report on Australasian pipelines; an interesting look at the need to protect pipeline information from the Freedom of Information Act (USA); analysis of Ukraine’s place in the global gas sector; and technical articles on subsea repair, coatings, ILI and SCADA systems.

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