Fortescue flags return to normal rosters with additional screening

Fortescue Metals Group is set to reverse the changes made on its operational rosters due to COVID-19, while introducing additional screening measures and testing for workers.

Starting June 22, all site-based teams will transition back to their normal operational roster of two weeks on, one week off.

The changeover is expected to take until the end of June to come into full effect.

Fortescue had previously introduced an extended operational roster of four weeks on, two weeks off in March, aiming to keep this within a three-month period.

The company stated the return to normal rosters was in line with its original time frame and reflected the increased confidence from low cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia.

“Fortescue has been in a privileged position to continue to operate during this time of unprecedented disruption,” Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said.

“We were the first iron ore company to extend our operational rosters, which reduced travel to our sites by 40 per cent and I would like to thank the Fortescue team and their families for their understanding, cooperation and support during this period.”

Fortescue will be introducing mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for all fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) team members starting May 27.

The PCR testing will be undertaken at least once for each employee and is an additional measure to protect the workforce and further reduce the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak on site.

It is also part of the West Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy Detect FIFO program and the state government’s broader Detect program.

Detect is a state-based population study that is focussed on testing targeted groups of people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. It aims to examine the prevalence of COVID-19 in key sectors of the state.

Fortescue employees can also choose to opt in to the research element of the Detect program.

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