FIFO to drive through at MinRes screen spots

MINER and contractor Mineral Resources will swab screen all its fly-in fly-out workers two days before their shifts at pop-up drive-through locations in Perth to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FIFO to drive through at MinRes screen spots FIFO to drive through at MinRes screen spots FIFO to drive through at MinRes screen spots FIFO to drive through at MinRes screen spots FIFO to drive through at MinRes screen spots

Miners are being swab screened for the virus before they start work in WA

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Workers will be able to stay in their cars during testing.

All 3000 of Mineral Resources' workers heading to company or client mine sites will be screened two days before they are due on site, by nurses wearing full medical personal protective equipment.

The health workers will use PCR COVID-19 analysers and Therapeutic Goods Administration-approved testing kits to carry out swab screening.

Results from those test are to be sent to a National Association of Testing Authorities accredited laboratory for analysis.

Once screened, workers must stay at home until they travel to site, as per COVID-19 restrictions.

If any workers test positive, they will be referred to the Department of Health.

Mineral Resources managing director Chris Ellison said other miners were welcome to use the machines, if it helped keep the state's mining industry running through the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The health and wellbeing of our workforce is our priority focus and we are doing everything possible to minimise the risk of our people being infected by and spreading COVID-19," he said.

"The Morrison and McGowan governments have been very clear on their desire to keep the state's mining industry open for business and Mineral Resources, as a key player of this essential industry and employing more than 3000 men and women, is committed to assisting the government by making sure as far as possible that our people are healthy and clear of COVID-19 before they head to mine sites around the state."

Ellison said screening had started for the first crews.

Rio Tinto is trialling screening of its FIFO workers using a rapid test that analyses a pinprick of blood for antibodies that could indicate the presence of the COVID-19 virus.

That screening is part of a five layered process that also includes a health questionnaire and the patient getting their temperature taken.

The Rio Tinto screening process has already led to one contractor being diagnosed with coronavirus.

The rapid screening process is also being applied to workers at Rio Tinto's Remote Operations Centre near the Perth Airport.

BHP is looking to conduct a similar trial.