27 March | DNRME note

Please see below a note from Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy | 27/3/20

COVID-19 advice for Queensland’s resources sector

From Resources Safety and Health Queensland including the Coal, Mineral Mines and Quarries, Explosives and Petroleum and Gas inspectorates

The unprecedented situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) presents additional challenges for everyone in our sector.

This message is to provide advice on our regulatory functions at this time. As the situation evolves, we will keep you informed of any changes impacting our regulatory activities.

Each inspectorate has a business continuity plan in place to manage the risk of COVID-19 and ensure critical functions continue. Our plans align with advice from Queensland Health and broader government direction.

Included in this communication is a link to a letter from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer (CHO), which clearly identifies the symptoms to look out for, the simple things we need to do to prevent transmission, and links to other resources.

We all have an important role in preventing the spread of the disease and keeping ourselves, our families and our communities safe.

Regulatory obligations and activities

  • Sites and employers must continue to meet their obligations to maintain a safe, healthy and secure work site – ensuring risk to workers is at an acceptable level.
  • Inspectors will continue to meet their obligations to inspect work sites and investigate accidents and incidents. Our compliance program will be considerate of the COVID-19 situation and public health advice from government.
  • We understand that as the COVID-19 situation progresses some operators may experience difficulty in meeting some regulatory obligations. If, due to the impacts of COVID-19, you are unable to meet your obligations (e.g. training, exposure monitoring) – please contact us as soon as possible for advice.
  • Health surveillance obligations have been addressed in a recent communication. It is acknowledged that there may be delay to whole assessments or specific examinations (e.g. spirometry) contrary to the requirements of the Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme or other regulatory requirements for health surveillance such as the Guideline for Management of Respirable Crystalline Silica (QGL02). Contact the Health Surveillance Unit if clarification is required.
  • We will take a risk-based and considered approach to issues as they arise.
  • Security clearances, licences, and permits will continue to be processed. We will endeavour to maintain our service delivery standards.


  • Entry into the state of Queensland was restricted from 12:01 am, 26 March 2020, to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 through the state.
  • Some exemptions have been made for identified critical services, including Queensland resource sector workers.
    • FIFO and DIDO workers in mining, petroleum, energy and other specified industries, are allowed to enter Queensland to work without having to undertake self-quarantine.
    • Those seeking an exemption will be required to provide evidence that they are FIFO workers, who they are working for, and that they are entering Queensland to go directly to work.
    • The companies they work for in Queensland will also have to provide a Health Plan
  • Exemptions also apply to workers across the resources sector supply chain.
    • To be exempt a person must be transporting goods, freight or workers working on maintenance/repair to critical infrastructure in Queensland.
  • Visit the Queensland Government border restrictions webpage for the full details including Entry Pass applications, and the employer Health Plan template.
  • While COVID-19 is not a notifiable illness under the legislation we administer, we request that you inform us of any confirmed cases, de-identified, so that we may reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus including the protection of our staff.
  • When possible, we will make advance contact before site visits are conducted.
  • For all sites, we expect the COVID-19 hazard will feature in your risk assessments and safety and health management systems. As Minister Lynham has stated, all mines in Queensland are being asked to provide a COVID-19 plan that covers their workers.
  • As the Chief Health Officer states in her advice, adhering to hygiene protocols and requirements will reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and support staff to be safe, while keeping the resources sector operating, which benefits our Queensland community.
  • Border restrictons and exemptions
  • Border restrictions definitions
  • FAQ’s on border restrictions
  • Letter from the Chief Health Officer
  • Safe Work Australia advice 
  • Queensland Health COVID-19 advice 

Resources Safety and Health contacts

For specific reporting or enquiries, contact the applicable group below:

Coal mines

  • General enquiries: Contact your Regional Inspectorate staff
  • Report incidents or illness: Regional Inspectorate staff, or call 1300 882 096
  • Emergencies: Regional Inspectorate staff, or call 1300 882 096

Mineral mines and quarries

  • General enquiries: Contact your Regional Inspectorate staff
  • Report incidents or illness:  Townsville: 07 4447 9282; Mt Isa: 07 4745 4117; Brisbane: 07 3330 4273
  • Emergency: Townsville: 07 4447 9282; Mt Isa: 07 4745 4117; Brisbane: 07 3330 4273


Petroleum and Gas 

Occupational Health and Hygiene 

  • For advice on health surveillance requirements contact:  HSU@dnrme.qld.gov.au  or call 07 3818 5420
  • For advice on mine dust lung disease call: 1300 445 715

Work safe, stay healthy

Kind regards

  • Mark Stone – Executive Director, Resources Safety and Health Queensland
  • Peter Newman – Chief Inspector Coal Mines
  • Hermann Fasching – Chief Inspector Mineral Mines and Quarries
  • Alex Mandl – Chief Inspector Explosives
  • William Date – Chief Inspector Petroleum and Gas
  • Kerri Melkersson – Executive Director, Occupational Health and Hygiene