A worker at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's Blackwater Coal Mine has been confirmed to have COVID-19.
A worker at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's Blackwater Coal Mine has been confirmed to have COVID-19.

Blackwater miner tests positive for COVID-19

A CASE of COVID-19 was confirmed at Blackwater's BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance coal mine this weekend.

On Friday night a male worker, who is part of the Operations Services maintenance team at BMA's Blackwater mine, tested positive for COVID-19.

The worker had not been on site since April 1 after using the BHP COVID-19 screening tool to self-assess his fitness to return to work.

As of Saturday morning, the man was receiving appropriate health care and support at his home in the Rockhampton region.

A BMA spokesperson said the man would receive a high level of support from BMA during this time.

"(Over Friday night and Saturday morning), we made contact with people who may have had interactions with this worker - those identified have been isolated as a precaution in line with health authority guidelines," the spokesperson said.

"All workers currently on shift were also temperature tested by our paramedic overnight and no abnormal temperatures were returned.

"In line with our commitment to health and safety as our first priority, we will continue to work with local public health authorities and to reinforce strict social distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices to help Blackwater Mine remain a healthy and safe place to work."

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth said workers at the mine had received little information about the case, including potential exposure and how tracing would occur.

"BHP says that the risk of becoming infected in the workplace remains low - but if workers are not given all the information it's difficult for them to have confidence that they are being kept safe," said Mr Smyth.

"In this case, there are multiple points of potential cross-contamination including machinery, transport, mess facilities and camp accommodation.

"Workers across the whole operation need reassurance that all of these risks have been identified, that they are being managed and that all potential exposure will be appropriately tracked.

"They are in the hands of their employers to keep them safe and the very least they deserve is full transparency about confirmed cases and how they are being managed.

"We are thinking of this worker and his family at this difficult time and we wish him a speedy recovery."