Step up protective measures for miners in camps
The Queensland Government is asking mining companies to step up their coronavirus (COVID-19) protections for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers, staff in mining camps, and remote and regional resource communities. Queensland Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said all state, territory and national resources ministers had agreed that the resources sector was essential to maintaining a strong Australian economy. “However, public safety is our number one priority and we need everyone in the community, in business and in industry to play their part,” Dr Lynham said.
“That’s why the Queensland Government has been discussing FIFO with resources companies for more than a week, and I’ve also been talking to the Federal Resources Minister,” Dr Lynham said. “Resource companies have been engaging with the Queensland and federal government and are alert to these issues. We expect that all companies will continue to improve their operations and constructively engage with stakeholders, including workers and the local councils.”
The Chief Health Officer has asked resources companies to follow public health protocols, to ensure the safety of workers and communities. Extra precautions have also been recommended for workers in camps and those on the move, whether they are FIFO or drive-in, drive-out (DIDO).
The following guidance has been provided:
- Infection control in kitchens and food preparation areas.
- Suitable accommodation for self-quarantine.
- Social distancing in camps is maintained, including for recreational activities, including outdoor sport.
- Movement of workers from camps and into the broader community is limited.
- There is no more ‘hot bedding’, to limit contact between employees.
- Each room is cleaned thoroughly between uses, including changing and washing linen.
- Close contact during transport is avoided, including a reduction in the numbers of people travelling on buses and aircraft.
- Thorough cleans between passenger loads getting off, and those getting on.
- Temperature testing at airports for passengers boarding aircraft.
- People with symptoms are not travelling, and immediately isolate, and seek medical advice.
- Reduction in FIFO and DIDO during COVID-19, to minimise the mass movement of people.
All Queensland mines have also been asked to provide a COVID-19 plan that covers their workers. Companies will also have to submit specific plans to Queensland Health regarding interstate worker procedures, with the state’s border being closed to non-critical interstate FIFO workers as of 4 April, as a measure to protect local mine workforces.
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