In the mining industry, safety is a top priority even when there is not an active global pandemic. Local mines Resolution Copper and Capstone – Pinto Valley shared some of their latest protocols to ensure their work force and their communities stay as safe as possible through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mining remains an essential service and operation in Governor Doug Ducey “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” Executive Order.
Without a doubt, each of these mines are following the CDC and State protocols for following physical distancing, disinfecting high touch/high traffic areas and of course encouraging hand washing as much as possible. Staggering lunch times and breaks to keep groups from congregating together, allowing as many staff to work from home as possible has also become a new normal for both mines. Employees are encouraged to stay home if they are not feeling well.
Obviously, many jobs in mining cannot be done from home so both companies must balance having enough staff on site to do the jobs safely and ensure that physical distancing can occur to avoid any unintentional spread of the virus.
At Pinto Valley, employees and contractors there are required to take their temperatures upon arriving on site. They also limit employees to only two per vehicle and beginning on May 1, everyone onsite will be required to wear a N-95 mask. Both companies have limited their visitation to only business-critical visitors to the mine sites and travel amongst the employees of these mines have been restricted as much as they possibly can.
Both Capstone Pinto Valley and Resolution Copper report that to date none of their employees have tested positive for the virus. Capstone has donated N-95 masks to the Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center and Resolution Copper is developing local plans to provide food and necessities to vulnerable populations in their areas.
“The health and safety of our employees, contractors, and the community is our top priority. We are making every effort to protect our people while safely operating our business,” said Dan Blondeau, a Senior Advisor in Communication for Resolution Copper.
Grupo Mexico-ASARCO was contacted for the story but did not submit comments for for the article.