At Anglo American, teams are adhering to social distancing guidelines. Pictured are workers at its Capcoal Open Cut mine. Picture: Anglo American
At Anglo American, teams are adhering to social distancing guidelines. Pictured are workers at its Capcoal Open Cut mine. Picture: Anglo American

How mining giants have adapted to Covid-19 crisis

THE coronavirus crisis has well and truly taken over our lives, forcing many of us to change the way we entertain ourselves, interact with others and even work.

While the mining industry in Australia is considered an essential service, it has also been forced to adapt.

Here's how mining giants have moved to protect their staff and the communities they operate in since the pandemic has unfolded:

 

ANGLO AMERICAN

This mining giant has not had any confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Australia.

An Anglo American spokeswoman said the company had moved quickly to respond to the virus crisis by implementing stringent measures, which were expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

These include:

-Detailed risk assessments completed

-Updated work processes at all sites in line with social distancing requirements

-Travel and site visit restrictions

-New charter flight services up and running to meet social distancing and hygiene requirements

-Temperature testing deployed at sites and airport departure points

-More than 6000 thermometers handed out to the workforce to support self-testing

-Workers encouraged to live locally during the crisis - Company said about 120 people had taken up this option

-Restriction of movement for workforce staying in accommodation villages

BHP has introduced mass thermal screening technology at Moranbah Airport. Picture: BHP
BHP has introduced mass thermal screening technology at Moranbah Airport. Picture: BHP

BHP

Among its global workforce of 72,000 people, BHP has reported a small number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, all of whom are recovering well.

"All of the individuals who tested positive followed the required protocols of self-isolating and reporting, to avoid putting their colleagues at risk," the company said in a statement.

"There has not been any broader transmission from these cases to other workers, or any impact on sites or operations."

Measures introduced include:

-Reduction in number of FIFO/DIDO workers travelling to regional sites

-Changed rosters in some regions to reduce workforce movement

-Regular health screenings and temperature checks at airports, before boarding buses and when entering and leaving sites

-Reinforcement of social distancing and hygiene requirements through daily pre-starts and leader messages, at work and in the community

-High-risk BHP workers across Bowen Basin mines and offices required to work from home or take paid leave amid the virus crisis

-Additional security and screening points have been put in place at some camps to further separate local communities from non-residential workers

-Increased use of charter flights and buses

-Non-residential workers no longer allowed to visit local townships or community facilities.

Thermal screening underway at Moranbah Airport for BHP workers departing the region. Picture: BHP
Thermal screening underway at Moranbah Airport for BHP workers departing the region. Picture: BHP

GLENCORE

Glencore employees are expected to practice social distancing while at work, including travelling to and from work with a limit on the number of passengers in cars to two.

It has also:

-Introduced health screening of its workforce across all operations, including temperature testing and a self-assessment declaration form

-Put in place remote working arrangements for employees whose roles can be moved offsite

-Launched a campaign to ensure everyone is doing their part to ensure a safe and hygienic work environment

-Increased cleaning and sanitisation of each workplace

-Reduced non-essential visits to sites

-Enacted incident management teams and local response plans

-Developed quarantine and isolation areas at every site

Social distancing at Glencore's Hail Creek mine. Picture: supplied
Social distancing at Glencore's Hail Creek mine. Picture: supplied

PEABODY

The miner has reported zero recorded cases of Covid-19 across its Bowen Basin sites.

A Peabody spokeswoman said the company was monitoring the situation daily and had taken the following precautions across its mines:

-Pre-shift temperature and health checks implemented at all Australian sites

-Temperature checks at Brisbane airport for employees who fly to sites

-Interstate FIFO workers have either been relocated to Queensland or redeployed to NSW sites for the foreseeable future

-External visitors to sites are prohibited unless authorised by site general managers

-Social distancing implemented across sites and camps wherever possible

-Expanded use of personal protection equipment

-Dining halls offering takeaway only meal options with serveries closed

-Camp gyms and common areas closed until further notice

-Enhanced cleaning and sterilisation practices at sites and camps

-Employees directed to use teleconferencing

-Daily communication with workforce to update employees on changing Covid-19 requirements

Thermography testing for site access at Glencore's Oaky Creek Coal mine. Picture: supplied
Thermography testing for site access at Glencore's Oaky Creek Coal mine. Picture: supplied

RIO TINTO

The mining giant has committed $US25 million globally to support grassroots community Covid-19 preparedness and recovery.

It is understood some is likely to be directed to Queensland due to Rio Tinto's strong presence in the state.

Across Queensland sites it has:

- Produced hand sanitiser at the Yarwun refinery in Gladstone for use on site and trialled the same at Weipa to help contain the spread of the virus

- Employed strict social distancing and hygiene protocols at all sites

- Fast-tracked flu vaccines

- Increased cleaning of "touch points" and high-traffic locations

 

ADANI

While the Indian miner's Carmichael Mine project is not yet up and running, the company has reported work on site remains underway with the following strict measures in place:

- Compulsory temperature checks across sites

- Social distancing measures employed at the mine site and rail camps

- Closure of its mining camp gym

- Increased cleaning protocols across operations

- Employees advised to work from home where possible

- Queensland Police Service welcomed onto sites to check measures in place



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