Vale to combat coronavirus with thermal cameras

S11D Eliezer Batista Complex in Brazil Source: Vale

While some miners are battling the spread of coronavirus with social distancing measures and worker health checks, Brazilian iron ore miner Vale is using technology.

Vale is installing 81 thermal cameras – similar to the equipment used in airports – at the entrance of its facilities in Brazil to identify people with high body temperatures, one of the coronavirus symptoms.

Employees or visitors in this condition will not be allowed to enter and will be contacted by a trained professional from Vale, who will provide information about the disease and send them home or to a health centre.

Vale has earmarked 7.5 million Brazilian Reais ($2.5 million) for the thermal cameras, which will be imported from China and Sweden and begin arriving at the end of March.

The company reported the first two cases of coronavirus among its employees last week.

Vale has also taken additional measures to prevent spread of coronavirus among its employees, including remote work implemented for high-risk employees and reducing the number of people at the entrance of the facilities, buses, and restaurants.

In a bid to combat the coronavirus, Vale has temporarily stopped activity at a distribution centre in Malaysia and has slowed activity at its mine in Voisey’s Bay, Canada.

Last week, Vale also announced purchasing five million coronavirus rapid test kits to help the Brazilian government combat the spread of the illness in the country.