The province is introducing new safe work procedures that municipalities can implement to ensure the safety of high water response workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This spring, we are potentially facing the unique challenge of fighting a high water event while at the same time slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler. “We are rising to that challenge and have developed a creative and innovative solution to ensure sandbagging will be undertaken while keeping Manitobans safe.”
A high water response activity document has been created, which provides a clear and concise process on sandbag production, the construction of two types of sandbag dikes, as well as the installation of water-filled barriers.
The following precautions can be incorporated into sandbag and water-filled barrier procedures:
- social distancing with a minimum of six feet or two metres,
- availability of adequate hand-washing and washroom facilities,
- regular disinfecting of surfaces,
- alteration to work methods,
- use of appropriate personal protective equipment,
- assurance sick workers self-isolate for 14 days, and
- preparation for a number of workers to be sick at the same time.
At provincial worksites, the province may assign specific duties for regular cleaning of common surfaces, tools and facilities. A co-ordinated approach with the construction industry, suppliers and consultants is underway to ensure the safety of everyone involved in response efforts.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, all Manitobans have a role to play in slowing its spread and minimizing its impact on the health-care system as well as in communities across the province,” said Schuler. “We will work together to ensure everyone involved stays safe.”
To view the province’s safe sandbagging procedures, visit gov.mb.ca.