Utility BC Hydro in Canada has announced it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from all employees and contractors working at a BC Hydro work site or facility across the province of British Columbia, including the construction site for the 1,100-MW Site C project.
In August, Northern Health’s Medical Health Officer declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Site C hydropower project. Northern Health determined work on the project could continue as planned, with the implementation of additional safety measures.
More than 6,000 BC Hydro employees throughout the province will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, 2021. This date aligns BC Hydro with the date announced by the Province of B.C. for the Public Service Agency and allows enough time for unvaccinated employees to be fully vaccinated.
In addition, consultants and employees of contractors and sub-contractors will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022. BC Hydro is not the direct employer for contract workers, and the additional time is required to allow those companies time to align with BC Hydro’s vaccination requirements and implement the required systems and processes.
BC Hydro will continue to work with its employees, unions and contractors in the coming weeks to further define the vaccination policy and provide details for accommodation for those who are unable to be vaccinated due to a medically-approved exemption, a press release said.
More than 90% of BC Hydro’s generation is produced by hydroelectric power. The company generates over 43,000 GWh of electricity annually to supply more than 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers.