Drivers relocate to help BHP trains stay on time

RAIL operations are one of the major keys to the success of Western Australia’s Pilbara iron ore miners and BHP has taken steps to protect its operations with a number of its train drivers who live interstate or overseas relocating to WA.
Drivers relocate to help BHP trains stay on time Drivers relocate to help BHP trains stay on time Drivers relocate to help BHP trains stay on time Drivers relocate to help BHP trains stay on time Drivers relocate to help BHP trains stay on time

Rail workers relocate to help keep the BHP trains running.

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Those workers are among the 300 or so BHP workers who have relocated to WA ahead of the expected hard border closure, which is expected on April 3.

Under that hard border closure, aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, interstate fly-in, fly-out workers will no longer be exempt to quarantine requirements.

WA miners have already voluntarily stopped FIFO workers from New South Wales.

While most of BHP's rail operations team already live in WA, a number regularly commute from interstate or overseas for their scheduled rosters.

To help cover those roles, some of its drivers have opted to stay in the Pilbara for their next swing, while others have temporarily relocated to WA and are in 14 days of self-isolation before they return to site.

Other rail operations staff, including supervisors, coordinators, trainers, and many other team members are picking up jobs they would not normally do to help keep the trains running over the next few months.

BHP rail operations manager Steve Campbell said the team was doing whatever it took to help each other out and keep the trains moving. 

"It has meant working differently, making it possible to deliver today, what would have been seen as impossible only a short time ago," he said.

It is not just operations that BHP is concerned about. On the charity front, the BHP Foundation is monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis to see its impact on its people, projects and beneficiaries.

The foundation partners with organisations that undertake transformational work across the world.

BHP Foundation chair Chip Goodyear said stability was paramount.

"This is an unprecedented and dynamic situation and while the challenges we face are overwhelming and appear insurmountable, now more than ever, we need each other and must work together," he said.

"Our commitment to partners and project beneficiaries is unchanged because we will all be stronger if we can work through these challenging times together."