We are supporting our employees and communities as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
Most countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and many are experiencing outbreaks. Our aim is to keep our operations running, safely, and to keep our communities and partners safe. We are monitoring the situation closely.
Here are some resources you can turn to if you have questions:
- The World Health Organization
- Australia: the Department of Health
- Canada: the Government of Canada
- United States: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
At Rio Tinto, our focus is on the health and safety of our employees and the communities where we operate and on keeping our operations running safely, so we can continue to contribute to local and national economies and serve our customers.
We have taken extensive measures across the business to help protect our people and communities, and have increased these as the pandemic spreads, in line with guidance or directives from governments and advice from international health organisations on best practice.
We have also pledged $25 million to support global grassroots, community COVID-19 preparedness and recovery. This takes our total estimated voluntary global community contributions to around $60 million for 2020.
This is a global issue and we believe everyone has a role to play. We intend to do our part.
Our operational teams are continuing to run their businesses as they provide support to local communities – from manufacturing hand sanitiser, to giving protective equipment to hospitals and funding local response initiatives.
Working with our customers and business continuity
We are continuing to work with our customers to fulfil orders and meet their requirements while complying with government directives, with our commercial teams in our key locations focussing on business continuity and customer support.
We have a global, site and regional business resilience teams to keep our operations running safely, enabling commercial supply chain continuity, and to plan for future eventualities under various scenarios. Critical infrastructure at each of our operations has been assessed and there a continuity plan in place.
50,000+ checks completed at our Western Australian FIFO airport screening
Learn more about what we are doing in Western Australia to combat the spread and impacts of COVID-19 >
- Screening programmes: implementing temperature and other rapid screening tests of workforce at airports, in alignment with local guidance. We have also implemented screening questionnaires and hotlines that provide employees with health assessments by medical advisors on fitness for work, including fatigue management. We are also working with local towns, governments and community agencies to build on the existing protocols for social distancing.
- Social distancing protocols: reducing the number of people attending pre-start meetings; keeping at least two metres (six feet) apart; closing all bars, gyms and pools at mining camp sites to limit social interaction; and changing configurations in buses, light vehicles and planes to extend the distance between passengers. Site meeting rooms are also marked to indicate the maximum number of participants admissible.
- Personal hygiene: implementing controls for personal hygiene including hand washing prior to entering dining rooms; increased frequency of cleaning at high touch areas; and providing extra hand sanitiser and work station cleaning areas. Buffet-style food services in some operations have been eliminated or modified.
- Support for our employees: providing an on-call service for employees to return home for health or family emergencies and supporting employees’ mental health through our employee assistance programme. Isolation areas have also been identified and site protocols established; medical teams in place with temporary clinics prepared.
Our office-based employees are beginning to return to offices in regions where this is permitted. In most cases, employees are returning to offices in alternate teams to reduce the risk of widespread transmission and ensure business continuity.
We are providing flexible work arrangements to support our employees and their families in areas where schools and day care centres are closed.