Irving Oil announces fall turnaround, Operation Sandpiper, with a focus on safety 

Publication date

Saint John, NB — As Irving Oil begins its 2021 fall turnaround project at the Saint John refinery, the health and safety of employees, contractors, customers and the community remains the top priority.

Representing a $121-million private investment in the safety, reliability and efficiency of the Saint John refinery, Operation Sandpiper will employ more than 2,500 tradespeople in addition to the existing workforce. A majority of these additional workers are arriving from communities throughout New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada, with many having participated in previous turnarounds.

Irving Oil is committed to a continued focus and diligence in adhering to COVID-19 processes and procedures across its operations – including exceeding the mandated guidance when appropriate. Since the onset of the pandemic, this approach has helped to allow all areas of our organization to continue to operate, while supporting the safety and well-being of employees, customers, contractors and the community.

On site at the Saint John refinery, there are a number of safety measures and initiatives to help keep people safe: 

  • All employees and contractors at the refinery have been asked to provide proof of vaccination. All unvaccinated  employees and contractors or those who decline to provide proof of vaccination will be required to undergo regular rapid testing.
  • Those travelling to our facility from outside New Brunswick will follow all New Brunswick Public Health requirements, including showing proof of vaccination or submitting to regular COVID-19 testing.
  • Active screening takes place at all refinery gates and masks are required to be worn at all times when physical distancing is not possible, including while in a vehicle. 
  • Disposable masks and hand sanitizer dispensers are widely available across the site and signage has been installed throughout the refinery reminding workers of the requirement to wear masks, the importance of hand washing and the requirement to leave site if feeling unwell or required by New Brunswick Public Health to isolate. 
  • Digital badges are worn daily by every individual on site to facilitate rapid and comprehensive contact tracing should it be required. 
  • Should an individual feel unwell while working, they are required to leave site and to consult with Public Health. 
  • Voluntary rapid tests are being offered on site in the event a worker feels unwell. 
  • Daily safety audits and additional onsite safety specialists will also help to ensure the refinery’s strong safety culture is maintained throughout the project.
  • We continue to collaborate with New Brunswick Public Health with a focus on risk mitigation and best-in-class safety practices. 

The approximately seven-week project has the potential to create significant economic spinoff in the Atlantic region with more than $7 million in benefits for the local Saint John economy. These benefits include boosts to short-term accommodation rentals, recreation services, retail and other local spending. In addition, the total workforce hours on the project represent the equivalent of 400 annualized jobs. 

Contact information:

Candice MacLean
[email protected]