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MRL introduces Bluetooth contact tracing

Mineral Resources (MRL) has introduced Bluetooth contact tracing technology across its sites and corporate offices to ensure operations continue as normal.

MRL is the first Australian resources company to roll out SaferMe’s innovative technology, as contact tracing is essential to breaking the chains of COVID-19 transmission through the rapid isolation and care of cases, as well as quarantine of contacts.

SaferMe’s wearable Bluetooth cards will be used by MRL’s workforce and visitors to automate the process, with each card detecting contact duration when one card comes within the range of another.

“MRL has developed a comprehensive management plan to define clear procedures and actions to prevent COVID-19 from entering our business and enable us to quickly and safely manage cases if it does,” MRL commodities chief executive Paul Brown said.

“Contact tracing will be an essential part of our response should we detect a positive COVID-19 case, ensuring we can keep our people, their families and our communities safe, and our operations running.

The SaferMe system takes the guesswork out of contact tracing and will streamline the process of identifying close contacts and activating control measures if a positive case is detected at one of MRL’s sites or offices.

“Our customers are among the world’s leading companies – doing their best to protect the wellbeing of their employees and looking to ensure business continuity,” SaferMe chief executive officer Clint van Marrewijk said.

“Mineral Resources is a great example of this, and we’ve enjoyed partnering in this project.”

Automated contact tracing is just one element of MRL’s comprehensive COVID-19 management plan, which includes regular rapid antigen testing for its Perth metropolitan employees, PCR testing for the site-based workforce, and free face masks.

In support of the broader resources sector, MRL has made PCR testing facilities available to more than 60 companies for the past 18 months.

This comes a week after a BHP contractor tested positive at the Yandi iron ore mine in the Pilbara, and a 29Metals worker at a Yalgoo mine in the Mid-West also tested positive.

The cases forced almost 100 workers into isolation, a situation MRL hopes to avoid with the implementation of the SaferMe technology.

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