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