Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Updated: 13 July 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.


Keeping our work mates safe

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.  


Our COVID-19 case management process

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: 

  1. Complete assessment for the team member who is unwell or thinks they may have had contact with a positive COVID-19 case
  2. If the team member is a suspected case, they are isolated with daily welfare checks 
  3. If the team member meets testing criteria outlined by the Department of Health, testing is arranged 
  4. Work mates who have been in contact with the team member who is a suspected case are identified 
  5. Work area is thoroughly cleaned and team members briefed on the situation 
  6. 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 
  7. As per standard protocol, any team members who require specialised medical services are evacuated off site based on medical severity. 


Our operations

On 27 May 2020, we commenced PCR testing for COVID-19 for all fly-in, fly-out team members as an additional measure to protect Fortescue team members and reduce the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak on site.

Supported by this testing program, site-based team members commenced their return to normal rosters from 22 June 2020.

In line with advice from the WA State Government, the following measures remain in place for our team members at operational sites:

  • Maintaining strict hygiene and 2m physical distancing measures across our village services
  • Changes to breakfast, dinner and crib services to reduce handling of food and service utensils
  • Introduction of PCR testing for all team members returning to sites
  • Village gyms continue to be staffed during peak times to monitor cleaning of equipment and physical distancing


Our offices

Fortescue team members based in the Fortescue Centre and Bennett Street offices in Perth, as well as those in our Karratha and Community offices, commenced a return to the office with the following guidelines in place:

  • Ensuring physical distancing requirements are met
  • Mandatory temperature checks and continued optional screening for anyone entering a Fortescue office
  • Team members continue to have the flexibility to work from home, in line with Fortescue’s Working from Home guidelines
  • Daily sanitisation at all desks and additional cleaning throughout the day

The Fortescue Family Room, our on-site creche facility, remains closed and external visitors, including family members, are unable to visit a Fortescue office unless critical for business. 

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


Travel guidelines

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 undertake a quarantine period for 14 days.  

In response to the situation in Victoria, additional hard border measures have been introduced from 10 June 2020, preventing anyone who has been in Victoria in the previous 14 days from entering WA unless they meet a new exemption list or would normally reside in the State.

We will continue to work closely with our interstate 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.

Communicating with our team

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.


If you need more information, please contact


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