02 April 2020
BHP is well prepared for the stronger border controls being brought in by the West Australian Government and will continue to implement measures to protect the health and safety of its people, their families and the communities in which it operates, said BHP WA Iron Ore Acting Asset President Tim Day.
“We fully support the decision by Premier Mark McGowan to require all FIFO workers to quarantine for 14 days for the further protection of the Western Australian community,” Mr Day said.
“We have implemented stringent hygiene and physical distancing measures across our operations and we will continue to reassess these each day and make any improvements necessary to keep our people and communities safe by reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread.
“We are all in this together and we will continue to work with the many local suppliers and contracting partners we have in WA to ensure we support local jobs and local businesses.
“The mining sector is a critical part of the state and national economy and we are committed to working with Government and playing our part to help keep our industry operating safely during this difficult time.”
Measures implemented across BHP WA Iron Ore sites include the temporary relocation of interstate workers, amending rosters to minimise travel to the Pilbara, restricting FIFO workers from entering the townships of Newman and Port Hedland, increasing the use of charter flights and increasing the use of health screening such as temperature checks at mine sites and airports.
These extra measures are in addition to the many controls already implemented across BHP sites, accommodation camps and offices, which include social distancing practices, increased cleaning and sanitation, and strict hygiene protocols.
All controls are in line with advice from relevant government and health authorities, including the Western Australian Government. BHP is conducting regular audits to confirm their effectiveness, obtain feedback and determine any improvements that can be made.
Across Australia, BHP has taken action in recent weeks to:
- Accelerate payment of all outstanding invoices to small, local and Indigenous suppliers, delivering ~$100 million quickly into those businesses. (BHP has reduced payment terms for small, local and Indigenous businesses to seven days from 30 days).
- Hire 1500 people to support its Australian operations, which will help to alleviate the impact of cross-border travel restrictions.
- Establish a $50 million fund to support local communities, e.g. through health services, community services, mental health and resilience, and indigenous programs.
- Establish a $6 million fund to support labour hire companies and their employees.