A staff member conducting a temperature test on a miner. Picture: BHP Queensland and New South Wales.
A staff member conducting a temperature test on a miner. Picture: BHP Queensland and New South Wales.

Mining giant trials temperature testing amid FIFO fears

A TRIAL of temperature checks is being rolled out by mining giant BHP to its workforce.

Workers travelling from Brisbane Airport on Hevilift charter flights will now undergo thermal screening to help curb the spread of COVID-19 within mines and broader communities.

Workers have been warned that online check-in will no longer be available and to allow extra time for check-in.

If the trial is successful, BHP plans to expand it to other airlines, carriers and locations.

Indian miner Adani, Anglo American and Glencore have also taken up the technology and will be conducting compulsory temperature checks across their sites.

Adani workers having their temperature tested. Picture: Adani Australia
Adani workers having their temperature tested. Picture: Adani Australia

The mining giants announced the move just days after a Central Queensland council urged industry and government to secure a local mining workforce model amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said the model would reduce the risk of the virus being introduced to the region from FIFO workers commuting via planes and through airports.

BHP has rolled out a range of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, its group health, safety and environment officer Rob Telford said.

A BMA worker bus at a Moranbah mine site, showing the standard practice moving forward.
A BMA worker bus at a Moranbah mine site, showing the standard practice moving forward.

These include social distancing at all sites, limited gatherings at pre-start meetings, increased cleaning schedules at all sites and a company-wide ban on international travel.

At operational sites, BHP has cut the number of people to critical employees and contractors only.

“The nature of mining and petroleum operations is such that many of our people don’t have the opportunity to work from home, but with the controls we’re implementing we are confident that our workplaces are safe,” Mr Telford said.



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