BHP tightens coronavirus measures as staff fall ill

Image: BHP.

BHP has confirmed that a small number of its global staff have tested positive to coronavirus, all of whom are recovering well.

There had not been any broader transmission from these cases to other employees or any impact on BHP’s sites or operations.

BHP stated that the individuals have all followed the protocols of self-isolating and reporting to avoid putting other colleagues at risk.

BHP was engaging with its workforce and local health authorities to implement further measures to protect the staff and communities should someone become unwell with coronavirus symptoms.

These procedures, which include tracing and communication protocols, will ensure anyone with symptoms can be safely isolated and given aid before being evacuated for self-isolation or treatment.

The new control measures include a reduction in fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) workers travelling to sites, with non-critical employees working from home; changes to rosters; non-residential workers temporarily relocating interstate; regular health screenings; and reinforcing social distancing and hygiene requirements through daily pre-start messages.

BHP has also put protective measures in place for workers at higher risk, such as Indigenous employees over the age of 50 or who live in remote communities, offering them to work from home where possible, or else receive discretionary leave.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry said as one of the industries still operating as the virus ran its course, BHP was committed to reducing the risk of the spread.

“Our over-riding priority remains to help reduce the risk of transmission and help protect our people and communities,” Henry said.

“The resources industry is one of the few industries that can provide regional jobs, products to customers and payments to suppliers to help underpin continued economic activity.

“I am proud of the way our people are adapting to new ways of working, including new shift patterns and rosters to reduce movements, social distancing, hygiene protocols and regular health screenings.”

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