Mining companies are being asked to step up their coronavirus protections for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers, staff in mining camps and remote and regional resource communities.
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,” he 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.
“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 the public health protocols issued to date so that workers and communities are safe.
Extra precautions have been asked for workers in camps and those on the move, whether FIFO or drive-In, drive-out (DIDO).
- infection control in kitchens and food preparation areas.
- suitable accommodation for self-quarantine
- maintaining social distancing in camps, including for recreational activities, including outdoor sport
- limiting movement of workers from camps and into the broader community
- no more ‘hot bedding’ to limit contact between employees
- cleaning each room thoroughly between uses, including changing and washing linen.
- avoiding close contact during transport, including reducing 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 not travelling, and to immediately isolate, and seek medical advice.
- reducing FIFO and DIDO during the COVID-19 to minimise the mass movement of people.
All mines in Queensland are being asked to provide a COVID plan that covers their workers.
Companies will be required to submit specific plans to Queensland Health about interstate worker procedures.