Outland’s Response to COVID-19
The health and safety of our staff, clients, and contractors is at the forefront of our planning on every project we do. COVID-19 presents a particular set of challenges when it comes to tree planting. Our management team and Health and Safety team has been working with industry and government to find solutions to some of these challenges.
We have discussed with all our clients across the country and all indications point towards the 2020 tree planting season starting on time.
We monitor the situation daily and the information in this document is subject to change based on updated guidelines sent out by government and industry.
Outland is one of Canada’s largest camps and catering companies and we have adapted to keeping people safe and comfortable in our remote camps across Canada.
The purpose of this document is to provide our tree planting management and staff an update on what we are doing to help manage COVID-19 in the workplace. As well as offer some general information about the pandemic and what we can all do to prevent the spread.
Preseason Training and Self Isolation
We are working with industry and government to come up with additional COVID-19 specific training. These may vary slightly from province to province.
Please stay in touch with your supervisor in regard to the training you are required to complete prior to arriving on site.
All planters will be required to self isolate for 14 days prior to the meet date. Self-isolation is defined as limited interaction with people outside of your household and limiting your time in public spaces, only leaving the house for essential services.
We are developing a web-based tool where our planters and management will log their daily activity within 14 days prior to the season starting. More information and instructions on this will be sent to you shortly. All workers are required to log each day leading up to the season:
- Project Name
- Crew boss
- Travel history
- Contact history
- A symptom questionnaire
- Daily temperature
Please note this is a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT. Planters who do not participate in the preseason self isolation and health log will NOT be allowed to site until such time that they have either received a documented negative COVID-19 test result or completion of the 14-day self-isolation and health log.
Travelling to Start the Season
We are taking extra precautions to protect our workers and the communities where we operate.
We are establishing camp/region specific travel directives and these will be communicated to you shortly. Please do not establish firm travel plans without consulting your supervisor. Travel directives are intended to minimize your interaction with the public while travelling to tree planting in order to maintain your health, the health of our workforce and the health of communities.
LATE ARRIVALS ARE STRONGLY DISCOURAGED.
Specific instructions on where and how to meet will come from your supervisor. Please be sure to follow these instructions as they are put into place to protect yourself, the camp and the communities we are operating in. You should arrive completely prepared as stopping in town for supplies will not be permitted.
Working with the Local Health Unit
Prior to the season Outland is contacting the local hospitals, clinics and health units to establish clear protocol on how we can protect ourselves and the community while accessing medical services. We are establishing protocol on how to access medical services at alternate locations in the event that the nearest clinic or hospital is unable to provide these services weather because of COVID-19 or other challenges they may be facing over the planting season.
Camp & Camp Hygiene
Personal and camp hygiene is the most important way to create a COVID free camp. It is important that all staff adhere to the enhanced hygiene protocols.
Below is a list of protocols and procedures Outland is implementing in all planting camps. Additional measures may be required based on provincial requirements.
- Crew start and finish times, morning meeting times and meal times will be staggered to reduce congestion and allow for physical distancing.
- Crews will operate as a unit. Crews will travel and dine as a crew – especially during the initial two weeks in camp.
- Extra hand washing stations will be provided with hot and cold running water as well as anti-bacterial/microbial soap.
- Additional hand sanitizer will be made available.
- All camps will have additional shower facilities with hot and cold running water for all staff to use. Cleaning supplies will be available for individuals to disinfect showers before and after use.
- Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be made available for individuals to disinfect outhouses before and after use.
- Outland will hire a full-time cleaner to help ensure that all high touch points such as door handles, tables, chairs, sinks, out houses and shower facilities are thoroughly disinfected multiple times a day. This individual will also assist the camp cooks to ensure safe food handling and the proper disinfection of the kitchen trailer on a regular basis.
- Additional mess tents or staggered meal periods to allow for physical
- Outland will provide additional vehicles to the operations to allow for increased physical distancing when travelling to and from the work site.
- All personnel entering an Outland vehicle will be required to wash their hands thoroughly before entering the vehicle.
- Gloves and masks may be provided for use during transportation.
- Cleaning supplies and disinfectant wipes will be provided in all vehicles to allow for thorough disinfection throughout the day.
- All Vehicles to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after use each day.
- Outland follows local health unit requirements for food service.
- All cooks are trained in safe food handling.
- Only camp cooks, hygiene officers and the camp supervisor will be allowed to access the camp kitchen and food storage facilities.
- All food containers and packaging to be disinfected before arrival to site.
- The kitchen and dining areas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each meal service.
- Dishes for daily eating of all workers will be provided by Outland. Planters will bring their own water jugs and thermoses for coffee.
- All dishes and dishwashing will be carried out by a designated staff member. We will use the three-sink method of rinse, wash and disinfect with hot soapy water and bleach. All meals will be served by the camp cooks.
- All small items and lunches will be individually wrapped or prepared.
- All condiments will be single serve to eliminate risks of cross contamination.
- Additional mess tents with fewer tables to allow for physical distancing during mealtimes and off work hours
- Where possible showers, hand washing facilities and outhouses will be spread out in such a manner to allow for
- Each planter will be required to bring their own tent to provide separate sleeping areas for each individual.
- Extra vehicles may be provided to allow for physical distancing while in transit to and from the work site.
- All camp meeting and group activities will be conducted in a manner that allows for safe social distancing such as outdoor meetings that will allow for a safe distance between staff.
- Efforts will be made to provide social activities that can safely allow for social distancing
Visitors in Camp:
- All nonessential visitors will be prohibited from visiting camps until further notice.
- All essential visitors (such as clients, helicopter pilots, food, water and Vac services) will be limited. In addition, they will be required to go through a screening procedure involving a questionnaire and symptom check. Access to physical infrastructure will be limited. PPE such as masks and gloves may be required. Stringent disinfecting of areas visited to be applied after the visitors have left camp. A log of who visited and when will be kept on site.
- At this point in time, all days off are expected to occur in camp.
- Laundry facilities or a laundry service will be provided.
- Outland will have a method for procuring essential goods for planters. While we will institute a “town order” system please plan to come prepared with essentials for the season including prescription medication etc.
- Outland will provide cell boosters, charging stations and Wi-Fi, when possible, to allow planters to communicate with friends and family during isolation.
Response to Presumed COVID-19 Cases
- Staff will be required to disclose any symptoms to their supervisors immediately.
- All presumptive cases will be required to enter self isolation immediately (see isolation facilities below).
- Once the individual with a suspected COVID-19 case has been safely isolated the camp supervisor will contact the local health unit and follow their direction.
- Until suspected case can be cleared the camp will go into a complete “lock down” from all outside parties. During this time stringent monitoring of the camp population and additional testing may be required.
Isolation Facilities in Camp
- Outland will provide a self isolation facility at site to manage any presumed cases. Likely a camper trailer or RV.
- This will be set up in such a way that it is physically removed from the main part of the camp.
- These will be equipped with their own hand washing, shower and bathroom facilities.
- All meals will be served at the isolation facility in camp in such a manner where no direct contact takes place.
- Procedures will be in place to allow the individual in to access essential products such as toiletries and laundry services.
- PPE, such as gowns, masks and gloves will be provided to assist in protecting both the isolated individual and the camp population.
Some Items for Consideration
Below is a list of items you may want to consider bringing with you that may help us and you operate safely, efficiently and comfortably through the 2020 season:
*Please note that while some of these items will be provided, we recommend having your own personal supply for your comfort and safety
- Gloves – both work and vinyl/latex
- Surgical or even homemade masks to help reduce the spread
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes
- Eye protection or face shields
- Extra clothing (as laundry service may take some time and you don’t want to be without essential items such as underwear or socks)
- A sealable laundry bag or heavy-duty garbage bags
- Personal First Aid Supplies
- Extra medication if you require medication as you may be isolated for up to 14 days with limited access to a pharmacy
- Extra over the counter medications
- Extra items like duct tape, sunscreen and bug repellent
- Extra convenience items such as snacks and cigarettes as access to these items may be limited
- Movies, books and games to help entertain yourself during self isolation and in camp days off
Thank you for taking your time to read this document. The situation changes day by day and region by region. We are working diligently to ensure that everything possible is being done to ensure the health and safety of our staff, clients, and contractors.
Please be sure to stay in regular communication with your crew boss and supervisor for any updates or changes.
Despite COVID-19 and the “new normal” we have all been presented with recently, Outland and our clients are looking forward to a safe and successful 2020 season!
- Please stay safe and healthy in the run up to kick off.
- Maintain self isolation and social distancing measures
- Wash your hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer often
- Avoid touching your face
- Thoroughly disinfect high touch points such as door handles, counters, keyboards and phones often
- Monitor yourself and others close to you for symptoms
- Use the self assessment tools each province has published
We look forward to seeing you all soon!