Vale says it is closely following the recommendations of health authorities to ensure the safety of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mining company explains that it’s taking all necessary measures to support the prevention of the virus at its sites since late January.
Franco Cazzola, the Head of Manitoba Operations, states in a letter to community stakeholders that Pandemic Coordinators have been assigned at each site to make sure accurate and up to date information is shared to all employees.
General measures involve cancelling non-essential business travel internationally or domestically, allowing employees who can work from home to do so, having on-site employees practice social distancing, and not permitting non-critical contractors on site. Cazzola adds that the company is in the process of setting up screening for all individuals prior to entering the site.
As for their operating plants, Cazolla says the steps they've implemented steps that comprise of setting up staggered lunch breaks, avioding large meetings in favour of other means of communication to promote social isolation, and providing employees symptom checklist cards for self-assessment.
Another measure instituted was a respirator policy on cage where social distancing is a challenge.
Cazzola notes all Vale employees currently have their own respirator, and that this measure doesn't increase the demand of repirators at their operation.