17 February 2022
Throughout the pandemic, BHP has established robust, critical controls to manage COVID-19 risks and help keep our workforce, their families, and our communities safe.
From travelling to our Pilbara sites, working in our operations, and living in our villages and camps, clear and effective controls are in place at all times – and change according to the level of community transmission risk.
“Before anyone flies to one of our remote operations, they need to provide proof of vaccination, complete an online health screening form, and visit our airport screening facilities for a rapid antigen test and temperature check,” WA Emergency Response Team Leader Yanni Kotsos explained.
“While on site, everyone needs to follow the rules, whether that’s wearing a mask, physical distancing, or using anti-bacterial spray to wipe clean commonly used surfaces in light vehicles and locomotive cabs. We’ve been doing this for a while now, and our employees have been great at cooperating to help keep us safe.”
The effectiveness of these controls, combined with the critical support of our people in following our COVID-safe protocols, has enabled BHP’s mines in Western Australia, including Yandi (situated approximately 1300 kms north east of Perth) to maintain safe operations. Yandi recently managed its first positive cases of COVID-19 on site.
Processing Production Superintendent Mayra Carrasco who is responsible for leading Yandi’s processing team and ensuring the safe operation of the ore handling plant, said “Thanks to the rapid response by our Health and Safety team and the controls we have in place, we were able to continue business as usual.
“We’re looking after each other more than ever before, ensuring we are all following the COVID-19 controls to keep ourselves, our families and communities safe.”
These controls include rapid antigen testing for all employees and contractors, physical distancing, vaccinations, good hygiene practices and wearing surgical masks.
Superintendents, like Mayra, communicate with their teams daily on the importance of managing their own personal health and wellbeing.
“The health and wellbeing of our people is always our top priority. Regular and consistent communication has been key in ensuring our workforce continue to feel safe and supported on site.”
Cintra James, BHP’s Manager Village Operations WA is tasked with keeping residents COVID safe during their stay in BHP’s villages and camps.
She’s also leading the charge to ensure employees who are isolated onsite are well supported and cared for during their 7-day isolation period.
“Our team maintains the highest hygiene standard with regular cleaning of rooms, gyms, common areas and dining halls, and ensures physical distancing limits and other controls are set up in our dining and crib areas,” Cintra said.
“The health and wellbeing of our people is critically important through quarantine and we have a range of measures in place to provide support, from regular check-ins, meals and snacks delivered, a linen cleaning service, and special care packs containing puzzles, magazines, to help them as they isolate away from family and friends.”
Thanks to all our teams across WA, for helping keep each other safe and maintaining safe, continued operations.