Latin American Governments Offer Mining-Specific Measures for COVID-19
As COVID-19’s impacts are felt across the globe, governments have responded with measures to promote public safety. Some countries have developed sector-specific guidelines to deal with the pandemic, and Argentina, Colombia, and Peru have released mining-specific protocols. The following are key elements in the guidelines from these three mining nations.
In response to the pandemic, Argentina’s Ministry of Productive Development published a range of measures that should be employed in the mining sector, which includes:
- Ensuring active workers have a “certificate of clearance” for COVID-19.
- Practicing self-isolation to avoid spreading the virus to nearby communities.
- Working with supply contractors to identify risks, minimize disruptions.
- Using regular and accurate communication to disseminate new developments.
- Collaborating with and supporting local authorities and communities where possible.
Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, and Ministry of Labour, jointly released a list of measures meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the mining and energy sectors, which includes:
- Monitoring employees’ temperatures, along with identifying and isolating infected individuals.
- Recording workers who live with high-risk or vulnerable people and their travel and contact history.
- Establishing disinfection protocols for work facilities and equipment.
- Providing hand-washing stations for workers.
- Using operational schemes, such as flexible shift patterns.
- Providing mental health support for workers.
The Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines enacted a ministerial resolution approving a protocol for implementing measures to reduce the spread of COVID- 19 among people who work at mine sites. The protocol includes:
- Using signed, sworn statements from workers regarding potential symptoms, illness, or contact with an infected person.
- Physically examining workers, including temperature measurement.
- Using isolation and social distancing measures.
- These measures were followed by a more detailed and mandatory health protocol for all employers, workers, and contractors in the mining, hydrocarbon, and electricity sectors.