26 Jun Why FIFO workers are critical for Australia’s COVID-19 recovery
As industries and governments cautiously begin to recommence operations the focus is shifting on FIFO workers and the contribution they will have in our recovery.
The mining, energy and resources sectors are the beating heart of the Australian economy, with the mining sector worth $290 billion alone.
In Western Australia, the State Government has begun testing FIFO workers for COVID-19 with 30,000 tests to be conducted over the next few months.
These tests are aimed at protecting communities, slowing the spread of transmission while allowing FIFO workers to continue doing their job and energy and resources industries to keep operating.
In Queensland, relief packages have been put together and a coronavirus management guide released to help assist FIFO workers.
But while the wheels are starting to turn again, there is little question that those workers who need to travel to rural and regional parts of Australia are battling.
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies conducted a recent study that showed that almost half of all mining companies had ceased exploration. Another 27 per cent have stopped most exploration, with only small volumes still being conducted.
Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt hailed the ‘great resilience’ of the resources sector and its ability to remain in a position of strength despite the adversity.
“It’s an important part of the economy. It will be an even more important part of our recovery,” he said.
The challenges facing FIFO workforces
Managing a mobile workforce is a delicate and challenging exercise at the best of times.
But COVID-19 has made this process even more challenging as companies work to not only protect the health and safety of their workers but the health of the members of the communities they are working in as well.
While mining, resources and energy operations have been classed as essential Australia-wide, there have been flow-on impacts from other measures put in space to control and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Borders remain closed and that lies under the jurisdiction of each State and Territory Government so those restrictions are likely to be lifted at different times in the future.
While essential workers can cross borders to work, we have seen tough measures put in place like in Western Australia where any FIFO worker must go into a 14-day quarantine every time they cross the state line.
The availability of PPE and other essentials like hand sanitiser (and even basic essentials like toilet paper) has been limited at times as the public-at-large stocks up to protect themselves.
How Fly2Work can help you manage your FIFO workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic – and beyond
The Fly2Work platform has been developed by Queensland company Ionyx and has been deployed by major companies including Shell QGC and over 140 of their contractors, managing over 4000 staff movements every month.
And while it has been designed specifically for workforces that need to fly to job sites, it provides a holistic solution where workers can book flights, bus trips, car hire, company vehicles and accommodation all at the same time.
Travellers can book at any time, on any internet-connected device and access itineraries and calendars on the same app for clear visibility of all travel arrangements.
All of this data is saved for company reporting which means that those in the resources, mining and energy industries can monitor their entire FIFO workforce through a central platform.
All workers have access to around-the-clock support as well to ensure there are solutions for any challenges that may surface along the way.
The Fly2Work platform streamlines the entire process and helps your workers keep moving during the COVID-19 pandemic with safe charter flight and bus bookings and site accommodation.