BC Hydro announced late last week that it will begin increasing construction activities at the 1,100-MW Site C dam site in a phased approach in the days and months ahead.
The phased approach is based on the health guidelines for industrial camps in British Columbia, Canada, and BC Hydro will work with project contractors and unions to begin ramping up construction activities. The first increase in work will focus on restarting some of the main civil works on the earthfill dam and roller-compacted-concrete dam buttress.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, work at the site was scaled back in mid-March to focus on essential activities and critical work required to meet river diversion later this year. This brought the overall workforce staying at camp down by about 50% and helped reduce densification at the site and worker accommodation lodge.
BC Hydro worked with Northern Health to implement measures to improve health and safety at site in alignment with provincial health guidelines. This included enforcing social and physical distancing both in camp and at the work sites, enhancing cleaning procedures in the worker accommodation, closing common areas and closely monitoring worker health on site.
A health screening process has been implemented for all workers accessing the site, including the B.C. Ministry of Health COVID-19 self-assessment questionnaire, along with a temperature scan. BC Hydro says it will continue to work with Northern Health to ensure ongoing adherence to these measures while gradually increasing the number of workers staying at site through the spring and summer.