25/11/2021

Update for the Resources and Energy sector

The Department for Energy and Mining recognises the effort invested across the sector in risk assessment and scenario analysis to support business continuity in an increasingly COVID-19 prevalent environment. To assist with business planning, specific guidance has been prepared for the resources and energy sector which sets out the SA Health approach to responding to COVID-19 exposures during the period between 80 per cent and 90 per cent vaccination levels in South Australia: Assessing and managing the risk of COVID exposures in the resources and energy sector.

The purpose of this document is to:

  1. provide guidance on the decision-making framework for the categorisation and treatment of casual and close contacts,
  2. explain the industry-SA Health liaison approach to be taken in the near term for an exposure event,
  3. highlight the significance of vaccination, physical and roster separation of crews, the use of PPE, high-resolution contact tracing on site, and regular testing to business continuity across the sector.

The South Australian government acknowledges the significance of business continuity across the sector, and the residual uncertainty about how unique exposure scenarios will be managed in your business in coming months. The guidance set out in the document is intended to support your planning and risk mitigations; triage and advice on specific exposure circumstances will be provided on a priority basis by SA Health as they arise in the coming months. This includes decisions regarding repatriation of positive cases and/or close contacts from remote sites (including travel arrangements). Similarly, advice on responding to exposure events for our key sites in South Australia’s regional centres will be determined on a priority basis with SA Health. The Department for Energy and Mining will assist in this process as required.

The Department for Energy and Mining will update guidance when the operating environment changes, including as South Australia’s vaccination rate reaches 90 per cent or more of eligible residents aged 12 and above.

Testing

Industry engagement with SA Health and SA Pathology on testing including training in relation to Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) continues. Queries in relation to RAT programs for individual sites can be addressed to Health.COVIDRapidAntigenTests@sa.gov.au.

I appreciate the current environment is uncertain, and that all businesses across the sector have a close eye on risk, regulatory arrangements and site-specific settings that will shape workforce availability and business continuity in coming months. As you digest the attached advice and revise your mitigation strategies, continue to send questions to the Department for Energy and Mining by email to Martin.Reid@sa.gov.au. The department is here to support you through this transition period to ensure the continued safe operation of these critical industries.

Stay well,

Paul Heithersay
Chief Executive
Department for Energy and Mining

25 November 2021

Previous COVID-19 updates

The information contained in this resources and energy industry update has been verified by the South Australian Government COVID-19 Public Information Function Support Group coordinated by SA Police.

The Department for Energy and Mining acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of South Australia. We recognise and respect the cultural connections as the Traditional Owners and occupants of the land and waters of South Australia, and that they continue to make a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the State