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COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements for Mine Sites and Businesses In WA

Though it seems that we’re coming towards the light at the end of the tunnel regarding our journey through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve still got a long way to go before we can (and should) go back to exactly how we were before it started. In this article, we’re going to chat a little bit about the different health and safety regulations and requirements still in place for WA mine sites and businesses.


What Covid-19 health and safety regulations exist for mine sites and businesses?


In Western Australia, COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for mine sites are managed by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS). The guidelines put in place have been considered at length to ensure they can support the Western Australian economy, industries and community through current and upcoming phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Transport


As miners are often contracted on a FIFO basis, mining work involves a lot of travel, often interstate. Here’s what you need to know about travel guidelines for COVID-19.


  •  Social distancing should be carried out, including limited passenger capacity, allocation of pre-booked seats, open windows and try to travel outside of peak hours.

  •  Hygiene is crucial so environmental cleaning and worker and passenger hygiene efforts must be managed at all times.

  •  The WA mask mandate has currently been lifted, but it is still recommended that travellers and travel staff wear a mask.

On-site and working from home


It’s safe to say that the majority of mining work has to be completed on-site, but it’s a good idea for those who can work from home to do so. Similar guidelines apply to working on-site as the ones listed for travel above, but employers and mine operators should also communicate and consult with health officials and employees on a regular basis.


Workers should know when to stay home, what action they need to take if they become unwell and what symptoms they should be concerned about.


Workers should also be reminded that they have a duty of care to their fellow staff and anyone else on-site. They should be upfront and honest about their own health to help preserve the health of others.


Where to find COVID-19 guidelines and regulations for mine sites and businesses in WA


Work health and safety, including COVID-19 related aspects, is not dealt with the same way across Australia, so mine sites and businesses in Western Australia will need to consult the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety in order to implement control measures to minimise the


spread of COVID-19 and ensure their workers and others visiting their site stay healthy and safe.

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