Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Building Trades of Alberta has worked closely with government, contractors and the owner community in several industries we operate in to help mitigate risk to members working across the province.
Rightfully, building trades are considered essential, and it’s been essential to the Building Trades to ensure proper worksite procedures and protocols are implemented to help push back on this potentially-deadly virus.
This includes partnering with valued clients like Suncor, who have been, and continue to be, leaders in safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of workers at its oilsands operations and beyond.
With that, as many Building Trades of Alberta members move into extensive spring and summer planned maintenance events with Suncor, we must continue to limit the potential for further spread of COVID-19, including more variant cases, at these worksites.
To help protect those working these crucial planned maintenance events, Suncor has made the responsible move to deploy rapid antigen screening at key operation sites in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and its three Canadian refineries in Edmonton, Sarnia and Montreal, for specific groups of workers where risk of COVID-19 transmission is high.
Please see the important points below for more details regarding Suncor’s rapid antigen screening:
- Suncor will implement rapid antigen screening for workers supporting the planned maintenance events in Alberta. Contractors supporting the events will be expected to screen routinely.
- Rapid antigen screens can detect COVID-19 infectiousness in asymptomatic individuals in a matter of minutes, which helps to proactively identify at-risk cases and isolate them from the workforce, which reduces the risk of further COVID-19 spread.
- The screening will be conducted in accordance with public health authority guidance of each province where Suncor operates.
- Rapid antigen screening does not replace hand washing, mask wearing, physical distancing, close contract tracing and laboratory-PCR testing. We’re all in this together, we must not let our guard down now. It is intended as an extra layer of protection to screen for the infection in asymptomatic individuals who are unaware they may be spreading the virus to others.
- We are all looking forward to the day when mask wearing and other controls will no longer be needed when the overwhelming majority of people are vaccinated. Until then, layers of safety are needed to slow the spread of the virus – and nothing is more important than the health and safety of our workforce, families and communities.
The Building Trades of Alberta and its more than 60,000 members across 18 Alberta union locals thanks Suncor for continuing to work with our organization, and others, to keep its workers safe during this difficult and trying time in our industry.