Did you know that the Australian mining industry employs more than 230,000 people?
And while many industries have been hit hard amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Queensland’s mining industry remains relatively stable.
A recent survey of Queensland resources companies by the Queensland Resources Council has found that more than half of the sectors plan to maintain or increase its workforce.
The mining industry is still considered an essential service by both the federal and state governments.
The survey found that 58 percent of companies were planning to grow employment numbers in the next three months and only 21 percent – or 1 in 5 – expected a decrease.
So how is the industry mitigating the risk of COVID?
Mine operators have been instructed to take all reasonable steps to manage the exposure of workers to COVID-19 in line with federal and state regulations.
According to the Constructions, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) the following are some of the steps that should be implemented as a minimum:
- Workers required to declare they have been fit for the last seven days before returning to site
- Introduce an appropriate quarantined area on site
- Appropriate leave for affect workers to ensure self-identification
- Hygiene controls provided at all work locations
- Workers provided with information about COVID-19, how it is spread, how to prevent contracting it and risk factors
- All cleaners to be trained on infectious disease processes
- Increase the frequency of clearing for high touch point areas
- Machinery and transport cleaned after every use
- Implement a system for social distancing
- Prevent cross-contamination from food preparation
- Limited numbers in dining facilities
What about FIFO workers?
FIFO workers are currently exempt from the 14-day self-isolation period when traveling between states.
However, they will be required to provide evidence that they are FIFO workers, who they are working for and that they are entering Qld to go directly to work.
Recently though mining companies operating in Western Australia have begun encouraging interstate FIFO workers to move locally during the COVID-19 outbreak in efforts to reduce the risks of transmission through travel.
Does WorkCover accept claims if diagnosed with COVID-19?
WorkCover will apply specific criteria from the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.
The criteria include determining if the exposure to COVID-19 occurred in the work environment.
For more information for workers can be found here.
Is public liability insurance still important?
Yes. Mining projects will always involve a certain level of risk and, if that risk is not managed carefully it could have far-reaching negative effects.
With the increase in mining job opportunities pending make sure you’re covered for all your insurance requirements.
MineGARD by Gardian provides market leading, comprehensive mine site specific public liability insurance online.