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Pipe segments for the Trans Mountain expansion project sit at a storage facility near Hope, B.C., on Sept. 1, 2020.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Trans Mountain says it is shutting down construction on its pipeline expansion project until early January for safety reasons.

Officials from the company and the Canada Energy Regulator said Wednesday that a contractor was seriously injured a day earlier at a work site in Burnaby, B.C.

In a statement Thursday, Trans Mountain says the company was enacting a voluntary, project-wide safety stand-down from Friday until Jan. 4.

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Construction at the Burnaby site had already stopped Wednesday after the injury.

The company says its priorities remain the safety of its workers and maintaining a safe work environment.

Ian Anderson, president and CEO of Trans Mountain, says there have been safety incidents over the past two months that are unacceptable to the company.

“This is inconsistent with Trans Mountain’s proud safety culture,” he said in the release.

“Trans Mountain is proactively taking the step to temporarily stand down construction on the expansion project to review, reset and refocus our efforts, and those of our contractors and their workers.”

The company said the project’s teams have successfully worked in multiple construction areas across British Columbia and Alberta in 2020, completing about 20 per cent of the project.

“Next year, 2021, will see peak construction for the project, with thousands of people working in hundreds of sites across Alberta and British Columbia,” said the news release. “It is during this time when one of the greatest risks to the project becomes worker safety.”

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