BMA Blackwater Mine
BMA Blackwater Mine

UPDATE: BMA confirms CQ miner is positive for COVID-19

UPDATE 12.20pm:BMA have confirmed the company was informed that a worker at BMA's Blackwater Mine has tested positive for COVID-19 last night.

A spokesperson said the worker has not been on site since April 1 after using the BHP COVID-19 screening tool to self-assess their fitness to return to work.

"This is an encouraging example of our controls working to help reduce the risks of COVID-19 at our sites and in the communities in which we operate," the spokesperson said.

According to BMA, the Rockhampton-based worker is currently receiving appropriate health care and support at his home.

The company said it will endeavour to support the worker at this time.

The spokesperson said contact tracing was underway.

"Overnight and this morning, we made contact with people who may have had interactions with this worker - those identified have been isolated as a precaution in line with health authority guidelines," they said.

"All workers currently on shift were also temperature tested by our paramedic overnight and no abnormal temperatures were returned.

"In line with our commitment to health and safety as our first priority, we will continue to work with local public health authorities and to reinforce strict social distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices to help Blackwater Mine remain a healthy and safe place to work."

UPDATE 12pm:  CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth revealed the workforce received little information about the matter including potential exposure and how tracing would take place after the confirmation of a COVID-19 case this morning.

"BHP says that the risk of becoming infected in the workplace remains low - but if workers are not given all the information it's difficult for them to have confidence that they are being kept safe," Mr Smyth said .

"In this case, there are multiple points of potential cross-contamination including machinery, transport, mess facilities and camp accommodation.

"Workers across the whole operation need reassurance that all of these risks have been identified, that they are being managed and that all potential exposure will be appropriately tracked. 

"Mine workers are continuing to go to work in good faith through this pandemic to keep the industry going.

"They are in the hands of their employers to keep them safe and the very least they deserve is full transparency about confirmed cases and how they are being managed."

The CMFEU has requested a full explanation of the protocols it has in place to manage confirmed cases of COVID-19 at its operations.

Mr Smyth said the union's thoughts were with the affected operation services maintenance team member at Blackwater.

"We are thinking of this worker and his family at this difficult time and we wish him a speedy recovery," he said. 

It is understood the worker tested positive in Rockhampton after being off shift for about a week. 

BMA has not yet released further information regarding the positive case but a statement is expected shortly. 

INTIAL: A miner at BMA's Blackwater mine has tested positive for COVID-19.

Details are limited at this stage, but it is understood staff on-site are being briefed on the situation.

The Australian Mine Safety Journal reported this morning reported the worker was a Rockhampton-based mine worker who has been off shift since April 1 and tested positive in Rockhampton..

It is understood the miner is currently recovering at home.

BMA said it would be releasing a statement later today with more details surrounding the positive test.

Updates will be made available here shortly.

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