Trans Mountain project goes into voluntary shutdown after workplace safety ‘incidents’

Work on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is shutting down temporarily for the next two weeks as the project assesses recent safety lapses.

In a news release issued Thursday night, Trans Mountain said it is enacting “a voluntary project-wide safety stand down” effective Friday until Jan. 4, 2021.

“Over the past two months, we have seen safety incidents at our worksites that are unacceptable to Trans Mountain. This is inconsistent with Trans Mountain’s proud safety culture,” said Ian Anderson, president and CEO of Trans Mountain, in a media statement.

The statement didn’t specify what those safety incidents were, but the Canada Energy Regulator says a contractor was seriously injured Tuesday at a Trans Mountain construction site in British Columbia.

A worker was killed while working on the pipeline in Edmonton in October.

“Trans Mountain is proactively taking the step to temporarily stand down construction on the expansion project to review, reset and refocus our efforts, and those of our contractors and their workers,” Anderson said.

“The critical success of any organization is its ability to self-reflect – to honestly and courageously ask the question, ‘Where can we improve?’ This is non-negotiable; we must improve the safety culture and performance on our project.”

Trans Mountain declined CBC’s request for an interview.

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