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Rapid Antigen Testing

Australia not unlike the rest of the world, has faced significant social and economic impacts dues to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mining industry however to date has stayed viable as an essential service. The need to protect Australia’s resources industry has seen measures including compulsory vaccination placed on the industry, in turn creating its own issues. We have seen FIFO workers locked out of returning to their home states to protect those where the virus suppression plan has been working. The flow on effect, coupled with the rise in commodity prices saw skills shortages and pressure on existing labour akin to previous mining booms.

As we have seen, the Australian Federal government plans to open all borders and resume the new normal life with covid as soon as possible. In doing this the focus has been on vaccination and identifying the movement of the virus. Doing this and maintaining safe and virus free operation in the mining and resources sector is a huge challenge. With the introduction of Rapid Antigen testing the way forward is much clearer. By identifying those who are carrying the virus or who’s bodies show signs of antigens similar to those who may be fighting Covid or similar, regardless of the presentation of symptoms, it avails business to continue with greatly reduced risk.

By testing FIFO workers before they board a plane and identifying and escalating a full Covid test for those that produce a non-negative result we have the opportunity to keep those sites safe. Fire and Safety Australia (FSA), on behalf of several of our mining clients, is testing all personnel who arrive at the airport in preparation for their next FIFO roster. This testing is incorporated in to the overall medical and emergency response service delivered by FSA for the clients.
Many Tier 1 and Tier 2 mining sector clients are returning to core business and outsourcing all aspects of Medical and Emergency Response to companies such as FSA. From there it is a natural progression to Rapid Antigen Testing, Embedded Training Models and company-wide programs such as Mental Health First Aid accreditation. FSA is delivering end to end protection for the emergency management needs of our clients and in many instances nearby communities. With rapid antigen testing prior to attending site, ESO’s, Paramedics and Nurses onsite, we assist in protecting our clients and their staff to ensure operations continue.

In people with confirmed COVID-19, antigen tests correctly identified COVID-19 infection in an average of 72% of people with symptoms, compared to 58% of people without symptoms. Follow up procedures for those who the test shows a positive are well mapped and well executed. This allows our clients the assurance that their workers coming into site are safe and covid free.

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