Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Updated: 14 May 2020 (please note: this page will be regularly updated to reflect changing circumstances)
At Fortescue, the health and safety of our workforce, their families and the communities in which we operate is our highest priority. During this unprecedented global health and economic crisis, we have implemented and expanded a range of measures to protect the Fortescue family and contribute to efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As always, our primary focus remains on providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for the entire Fortescue family. Since the outbreak began in January 2020, we have carefully monitored its impact and swiftly introduced measures to meet guidelines introduced by Commonwealth and State Governments.
Our Incident Management Team is meeting regularly review our operations and the Government’s advice. As the social distancing guidelines have changed, we have responded to each additional measure quickly and are regularly communicating with our teams on all matters relating to the mining sector, as well as the importance of physical distancing and stringent hygiene.
Our focus on the health and safety of our workforce extends to their mental health and wellbeing. All Fortescue team members have access to the Fortescue Chaplains and Employee Assistance Program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For the latest information on the global outbreak, please find a range of available resources below:
We are encouraging our team members to download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe App, available via the Apple App Store or Google Play.
We have a robust COVID-19 case management process in place to manage a positive case at one of our sites or offices.
This process is in accordance with the WA Department of Health guidelines and is reviewed on a daily basis.
COVID-19 case management process summary:
- Complete assessment for the team member who is unwell or thinks they may have had contact with a positive COVID-19 case
- If the team member is a suspected case, they are isolated with daily welfare checks
- If the team member meets testing criteria outlined by the Department of Health, testing is arranged
- Work mates who have been in contact with the team member who is a suspected case are identified
- Work area is thoroughly cleaned and team members briefed on the situation
- If it is a positive test result, work mates who were identified as having close contact are isolated and monitored and are tested if they meet testing criteria
- As per standard protocol, any team members who require specialised medical services are evacuated off site based on medical severity.
On 27 March 2020, we announced a temporary change to our operational site rosters from a two-week/one-week roster to a four-week/two-week roster. This will reduce people movement on and off our sites by around 40 per cent.
The following additional measures remain in place for our team members at operational sites:
- Non-critical site-based employees have been relocated from site to work from home
- Additional charter flights and bus services to ensure appropriate distances are maintained between team members
- Introduction of mandatory airport temperature and health testing
- Health screening has been made available to team members on a voluntary basis across all our offices and operational sites
- Changes to breakfast, dinner and crib services to reduce handling of food and service utensils
- Wet mess (licenced) areas have been closed with takeaway options only available with strict limits on purchases and opening times
- Enforcing strict hygiene and 1.5m physical distancing measures across all our village services
- Holding larger meetings like pre-starts outside so team members can maintain at least two metres physical separation from each other
In line with advice from the WA State Government, we will be re-opening our site gyms and swimming pools with a maximum limit of 20 people from 18 May 2020.
From 18 May 2020, Fortescue team members based in the Fortescue Centre and Bennett Street offices in Perth, as well as those in our Karratha and Community offices, will commence a return to the office with the following guidelines in place:
- Ensuring physical distancing requirements are met by assigning set number of desks for teams, restricting the number of people allowed in lifts to avoid overcrowding at entry points and in common areas
- Mandatory temperature checks and continued optional screening for anyone entering a Fortescue office
- Team members will continue to have the flexibility to work from home, in line with Fortescue’s Working from Home guidelines
The Fortescue Family Room, our on-site creche facility, will remain closed and external visitors, including family members, are unable to visit a Fortescue office unless critical for business.
Additional measures which remain in place include:
- Limiting meeting room seating capacities and timing to no more than 90 minutes
- Encouraging team members to use phone calls or teleconferences instead of physical meetings
- Daily sanitisation at all desks and additional cleaning throughout the day
Fortescue Centre inductions
All face to face inductions will continue to be conducted online. For more information, please reach out to your recruiter or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In line with the travel restrictions announced by the Commonwealth and State Governments, a number of protocols relating to travel for Fortescue team members remain in place:
- Consistent with Australia’s border restrictions that require all international travellers arriving in Australia to self-isolate for 14 days, anyone who has returned from an overseas destination is not to return to or visit a Fortescue site or office until the mandatory quarantine period is completed. Team members can explore alternative working from home arrangements with their leader
- All domestic and international work-related travel for team members postponed until further notice
- All non-essential travel to operational sites postponed until further notice
WA border restrictions
Effective 24 March 2020, Western Australia has implemented strict border controls requiring all arrivals from other States in Australia to self-isolate for 14 days.
We have worked with our non-resident workforce to ensure Fortescue can continue to operate safely, maintain jobs, sustain our business and protect communities. This includes offering employees and contractors the opportunity to temporarily relocate to WA.
From Monday, 18 May 2020, regional WA travel restrictions will change, bringing the number of current borders within the State from 13 to four, though an exemption for FIFO workers travelling to the Pilbara is still required.
For the exemption to apply, you must carry the following original documents:
- Either a printed copy of your G2G PASS issued by WA Police, or the G2G PASS mobile app showing your digital pass and QR code
- Alternatively, you will be required to carry the Company Authorisation declaration and health declaration form completed and signed by you, provided via email
- Photo identification e.g. Drivers Licence or Passport
- Your Fortescue blue card with SAP number.
We are committed to providing our team, contractors, suppliers and key stakeholders with the latest information as the COVID-19 outbreak continues.
In addition to regular Incident Management Team meetings, we have:
- Established a dedicated COVID-19 intranet page for employees and extranet page for contractors
- Introduced Executive and Leader calls, including with contractors
- Updated the Fortescue family via company-wide Weekly Meetings, which are streamed live to all sites, recorded and distributed to team members
- Sent direct text messages to employees and contractors relating to immediate changes as required.
A number of videos have also been produced as an effective means of communication:
- Chairman and Founder, Andrew Forrest AO, on how Fortescue will get through this crisis as a team. You can view the video here.
- Elizabeth Gaines, CEO about our commitment to supporting mining in WA. You can view the video here.