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Australia has faced significant social and economic impacts dues to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mining industry however has stayed viable as an essential service. Protecting Australia’s resources industry has seen flow on issues from measures, including boarder closures and compulsory vaccination. FIFO workers have been restricted from returning to their home states, protecting states adopting virus suppression plans. This, coupled with rising commodity prices, has seen skills shortages and pressure on existing labour akin to previous mining booms.

The Australian Federal government plans to open all borders and resume a covid normal life as soon as possible, by focusing on vaccination and identifying the movement of the virus. 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 Pty Ltd (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.

Independent health evidence network “Cochrane” has stated that “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.

If you would like more information on how FSA can help protect your workforce through rapid testing or assist in the delivery of Medical and Emergency Response Services please contact David Spencer– FSA.

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