“While our response continues to evolve and will adjust to changes in the local environment and caseload, we’ve got a robust enough system that we can scale it back up very quickly to respond to any change in circumstance.”

- Reg Mullett, Husky Energy

Safe operations are a priority at all times in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore, so when the COVID-19 global pandemic reached the province in early 2020, operators knew that it would take a team effort to ensure the health and safety of all.

Reg Mullett, Senior Manager of Marine Services and Logistics for Husky Energy, is tasked with overseeing the logistics for safe movement of workers and goods to and from offshore facilities. He said that the industry was just recovering from the effects of a massive January snowstorm when they heard rumblings that COVID-19 was spreading throughout the world.

“It became obvious, very early in the game, that we couldn’t operate as individual companies. We operated as one. Everybody was talking to one another.”

Operating companies and contractors moved quickly to implement mitigations to prevent COVID-19 from gaining a toehold on any offshore facilities. This included health screening and temperature checks prior to travelling by helicopter or vessel, staggering of flight times, and separation of flights to prevent co-mingling of travellers from different facilities.   

Mullett noted that the cooperation of contractors has also been outstanding, while worker feedback has been invaluable.  

“All of the operators and most of our major suppliers have international operations, so we were able to draw on the experiences of other jurisdictions and develop a plan that was right for the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore; one which ensured the health and safety of workers, plus the continued operation of this vital industry.”

Industry response has evolved as the COVID-19 situation has changed in the province. Mullett said open and frequent communication has been key and companies are ready to adapt quickly should the local situation change.

Contributor bio

Reg Mullett, Senior Manager of Marine Services and Logistics
Husky Energy

Reg manages a logistics team who work to ensure the safe movement of people and goods to and from Husky’s offshore facility.