Rio Tinto to relax COVID-19 restrictions in WA

Rio Tinto is set de-escalate its coronavirus controls across the business in Western Australia as the state enters its second phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury told Australian Mining that the company would be slowly implementing changes in-line with the government move.

The company plans to gradually revert rosters across its operations in the coming weeks as there are low community transmission risks.

During the peak of the pandemic in March, Rio Tinto changed its fly-in fly-out (FIFO) rosters with employees working on a two-weeks-on/two-weeks-off schedule, instead of eight-days-on/six-days-off.

Rio Tinto will also reopen its Perth office starting June, with the staff required to take a pre-entry health questionnaire and subjected to temperature checks before returning to work.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the way we run our business and Rio Tinto made significant changes across our operations to protect our people and the communities where we operate,” Salisbury said.

“We know that we will need to co-exist with COVID-19 for some time, however, without compromising our commitment to health and safety, we will slowly start to implement changes to our business in-line with the easing of government restrictions.”

Rio Tinto will implement new social distancing requirements in its Perth offices and stagger arrival times to mitigate transmission risks.

Salisbury said the protection of its people and communities would remain a priority.

“An appropriate range of measures and controls will remain in place to keep our operations running safely, ensuring we can continue to make a strong contribution to the Western Australian and Australian economies at a very challenging time,” he said.

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