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11 Mar 2020

Times Live (South Africa)

So. Africa: Mining companies say they have an action plan to lessen impact of coronavirus

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‘Masks and flu jabs for mineworkers as SA firms act to combat coronavirus’ 16 March 2020

Mining companies have developed an action plan to soften the impact of coronavirus on the industry, both for mineworkers and managers who travel extensively. The industry is “putting in place risk-mitigating measures to rapidly identify any cases of the virus, to ensure rapid isolation and contact tracing, and could — if necessary — mobilise large-scale medical facilities,” the Minerals Council said on Friday. For employees, the industry is ensuring access to masks, sanitisers and testing kits as well as equipment such as temperature monitors. The industry is also advocating the use of proactive influenza vaccinations.

… With the first confirmed case of coronavirus in SA announced on Thursday, the Minerals Council says it is ready to work with all relevant parts of government to manage the spread of the virus, if required. Expanding on its preparedness, the industry grouping said: “We recognise that the mining sector has special circumstances that could make it vulnerable to transmission of infectious diseases such as Covid-19. Employees congregate in areas of work, and travel in proximity to each other. As mining often involves physical activity, there could be a high degree of exposure to the virus simply through contact with people, machinery and equipment.

Other sectors are also compiling workplace policies to deal with the coronavirus. Driver training organisation MasterDrive South Africa said it had taken steps to protect the health of employees and the company's clients. “MasterDrive has already started the process of providing additional steps to strengthen the immune systems of our employees,” said MD Eugene Herbert. “We have also equipped our trainers with the necessary equipment, such as hand sanitisers, to reduce any potential transmission from one person in a vehicle or training room to another. Our aim is to protect the working environment of our trainers and provide peace of mind to both trainers and our customers.”

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So. Africa: Mining companies take measures to fight COVID-19 outbreak, as unions call for summit to tackle the deadly virus

Extractive companies' response to the Covid-19 pandemic