West Fraser response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and how it affects our operations.
CORONAVIRUS AND WEST FRASER’S OPERATIONS
Our primary goal is to protect our workforce and maintain business continuity during this pandemic. West Fraser’s operations have been deemed essential in the jurisdictions where we have facilities.
So that we can continue to operate safely and productively, we have taken and will continue to take steps to mitigate potential exposure and protect people’s health.
We are monitoring guidance updates and continuing to implement appropriate actions to ensure the safety, health and well-being of our employees, the community, and anyone at our sites. In every way, we are guided by the expert advice of each jurisdiction’s health authorities, including Health Canada and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
PRODUCTS & TRADE
Our product and supply chain is operating, although we are experiencing delays due to transportation disruptions and reduced capacity. Due to the nature of coronavirus, the World Health Organization indicates shipped goods are classed as a low likelihood to transmit the virus and are unlikely to be a contagion source.
tree planting & Reforestation
Replacing more than we harvest, each year West Fraser plants about 60 million native tree seedlings during a narrow seasonal window. Reforestation is an essential activity that cannot be postponed. Timely planting ensures our millions of seedlings get the best start to grow and return the land to forest cover as quickly as possible. We are working closely with our contractors, the Western Forestry Contractors Association (WFCA), and the provincial Ministries of Forests and Health in identifying strategies to address provisioning, quarantine protocols, minimizing interface in rural communities and active health monitoring for tree planting contractors during this time. We are working closely in our communities to address their concerns so that this vital activity can proceed with the appropriate measures and oversight in place to ensure reforestation takes place as safely and responsibly as possible under the circumstances.
Business travel, including between and to our facilities, is tightly restricted. We are not accepting any travellers or visitors to our sites at this time, with strong controls in place to approve individuals required to perform essential or required regulatory activities. Anyone returning from travel must complete a 14-day self-isolation before coming to a West Fraser site.
WORKFORCE AND OPERATING FACILITIES
In this unprecedented situation, we are providing employees flexibility around working arrangements while supporting continued safe operations. Every site is acting to mitigate potential exposure, focusing on hygiene and physical distancing to reduce exposure risks. We are:
- Circulating health and hygiene education, increasing the intensity and frequency of cleaning, disinfection, and renewal of available hygiene supplies.
- Maintaining physical distance between people using strategies such as scheduling adjustments to reduce shift and break interactions, use of virtual communication tools, and remote work where possible. Office locations in Vancouver, B.C. and Memphis, T.N. are currently closed to non-employees.
- Requiring ill employees to stay home until their illness has completely resolved and following health authority wellness guidance before returning to work sites.
- Providing updated guidance through our corporate safety program to ensure the consistency and effectiveness of health measures throughout our manufacturing operations.
We are committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure we provide a safe and productive working environment. The safety, health and well-being of our employees, the community, and anyone at our sites continues to be our top priority.
Thank you in advance for your understanding, patience and flexibility during this unprecedented global event.