27 August 2021
NSWEC's Mt Arthur Coal celebrates a milestone this week with 5000 Rapid Antigen Tests being delivered at their site COVID-19 testing clinic.
In response to the escalation of COVID-19 in Greater Sydney and spread to Hunter Region, Mt Arthur Coal moved to implement Phase 3 of the COVID-19 Trigger Action Response Plan (TARP). Recognising the additional increase in local testing and pressure on the regional health system, Mt Arthur team developed a site-based COVID-19 testing solution.
In a first for BHP Minerals Australia, Mt Arthur team stood-up a walk-in Rapid Antigen Testing clinic. Taking a risk based approach, testing was targeted to employees and contractor profiles who resided in Local Government Area with known COVID-19 community exposure.
The Rapid Antigen Test is much less invasive than the regular PCR testing and can return a negative COVID-19 result in under 15 minutes.
Since inception the clinic has seen an average of 400 employees and contractors who reside in an LGA with known COVID-19 exposure, tested daily. The RAT process has been designed with flexibility to scale, if further LGAs are identified. This has involved development of a drive through clinic to enable Rapid Antigen Testing of every Mt Arthur Coal employee prior to shift, if local exposure deemed this level of control necessary.
Due to Mt Arthur Coal’s ability to rapidly implement high level controls including waste water sampling, contact tracing, Rapid Antigen Testing and PCR Testing onsite, the team have confidence that the site is safe to remain operational, even if workplace exposure to COVID-19 was to occur.
“I’m really proud of the team for the way they have stood up the COVID controls in just a matter of weeks,” said Mt Arthur Coal General Manager, Adam Lancey.
“Mt Arthur Coal has been receiving accolades from across the BHP business, the Government, Regulators and our community alike and I can’t thank the team enough for their work to stand up and comply with these testing controls to keep our people and their families safe,” he said.
Further to this, late last week representatives from Mt Arthur Coal met with the Commonwealth Government who approved the release of 300 AstraZeneca vaccines to be delivered to site.
This is a first for voluntary workplace vaccine delivery in the resources sector in NSW and the Commonwealth Government were complimentary of Mt Arthur Coal for being proactive in offering this opportunity to its workforce, with the clinic expected to launch next week.