COVID-19 Update – Western Stevedoring Group of Companies

April 15, 2020

 

We felt it was important to provide an update and overview of our response to COVID-19.

The Western Stevedoring Group of Companies continues to work with industry partners, government officials and health authorities to take proactive, responsible measures to tackle COVID-19. More than ever before, local, national and international communities are called upon to work together to contain the virus and its consequences. The Western Stevedoring Group of Companies is committed to doing our part in this battle.

Our top priority remains the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and stakeholders while ensuring business continuity for our customers.

 

Employee Health & Safety Measures, Site Preparedness 

We have a cross-functional COVID-19 Response Team that has taken the following measures to mitigate potential exposure and spread of the virus:

  • working diligently to protect our employees working on the front lines with stringent safety measures in place, such as enhanced hygiene protocols (hand washing stations at key locations), physical distancing protocols (tents for additional break areas), use of appropriate PPE, and staggered shifts/breaks (where possible)
  • working with industry partners to source PPE and cleaning supplies
  • employees that can work from home are doing so
  • implemented virtual meeting technology
  • stopped all non-essential travel
  • visitor protocols on our sites have been adjusted to the current situation and we are requesting that most external visits (customers, partners, suppliers) be postponed or redirected towards virtual meeting options.

Our operations and safety teams have scenario planning protocols prepared, including updated cleaning and sanitation, and incident response procedures put in place to protect our people, minimize disruptions and ensure our operations remain intact for the long term. These processes support our operations with specific preventative steps, as well as response measures should we experience a positive COVID-19 case.

Ensuring employees are informed and feel connected through several channels is one of our key responsibilities — from daily and weekly email updates to virtual meetings — to address the current situation and provide support resources from reputable sources.

 

Supply Chain Continuity

The Federal government and the Province of BC have designated transportation as an essential service. The Western Stevedoring Group of Companies operates in all BC Ports and our operations in the supply chain have been identified as essential services. Like other front-line workers in healthcare, emergency services, food supply, telecommunications, and the energy sector, transportation work is vital. As a key component of the supply chain we facilitate the transport of numerous products that are very important these days - pulp is used in essential supplies such as medical masks, gowns, and personal hygiene products; steel and project cargoes are used for energy production projects (oil & gas); rebar for critical infrastructure projects; grain for feeding the world; container supply to keep much needed goods flowing into Canada.

We remain fully committed to providing essential services and innovative solutions to our customers during this time of global supply chain disruption. Except for our Cruise division, Western Stevedoring Group of Companies’ cargo operations at our terminals, yards and warehouses remain fluid. We are working closely with our customers and industry partners to ensure goods continue to move safely, while managing daily workload to ensure employee safety. Future impacts to our operations are predicated on local variables such as the health, safety and availability of employees, and global supply chain fluidity, which will be regularly assessed, and any changes communicated to our employees, customers and industry partners immediately.

Our teams are experienced with adapting to changing conditions and have collaborated to understand the risk of the pandemic for our supply chain partners, operations and suppliers, and we remain steadfast in our efforts - to serve the needs of and provide solutions to - our customers.

 

Community

While government response and support are essential, in times like this the private sector also has a significant role to play in alleviating the hardship faced in our communities. We have worked diligently to adapt our operations for COVID-19, and are now in a position to shift some of our focus to local community organizations to provide much needed assistance and support to help those most affected by this health crisis.

 

In closing

As a society we are facing difficult and stressful times. Federal and provincial projections being released show the stark reality we are facing in the fight with this virus. We feel it is critically important that we continue to work together and do everything possible to minimize the spread of this virus.

 

The Western Stevedoring Group of Companies is continuing to run its operations because it is safe to do so — we are aligned with the recommendations of the health authorities – and we are communicating with our employees about what we need to do to stay safe and healthy.

Wash Your Hands   -   Avoid Touching Your Face   -   Physical Distancing – 6 feet/2m Apart  -   Stay Home if you are ill/have symptoms

We will provide periodic updates should situations change, however if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your Western contact or email us at info@westeve.com.

Thank you so much for your collaboration and support during these uncertain times for us all.

Be Kind.    Be Calm.    Be Safe.