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Remote Mining Camps & Their Requirements

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All mine sites and exploration camps in Western Australia have specific requirements concerning the health and wellbeing of employees that must be adhered to.

What Is A Mining Camp?

A pressing issue experienced within the mining industry is the remoteness of Australia’s resource deposits, and in turn the availability of accommodation for staff who work on these projects. Due to the high labour requirements of the resources sector, many towns in remote locations of Western Australia are either too far away from the mine site, or unable to cope with the pressure brought on by housing these workers.

To mitigate this problem, many mining companies set up camps on mining leases, and other designated land through State and Local Government levels to house their staff. A mining camp is generally made up of transportable accommodation units, allowing for rapid mobilisation, and various facilities for dining and recreational activities.

Requirements of A Mining Camp

All mining sites and exploration camps within Western Australia are obliged to comply with health-related criteria and safety standards outlined in various Australian Standards and Regulatory Acts.

Accommodation Standards & Requirements

Residential Accommodation

Employers that provide residential site accommodation to staff need to ensure that:

  • Buildings are in good condition and are separated from noise, heat, dirt and contaminants
  • Buildings are secure to protect the occupants and their belongings
  • Buildings in cyclonic areas are constructed to cyclone proof specifications
  • Residents are familiar with emergency evacuation procedures
  • Ventilation is provided with sufficient protection from emissions, dust, smoke, ash and odours
  • Noise buffers from traffic, industrial equipment, pumps, machinery, etc. are in place
  • Adequate lighting is provided

 

Accommodation should be strategically located to reduce risks related to weather conditions such as dominant wind direction, as well as distance from mining activities.

Public Health Factors

Mine sites and exploration camps also need to consider the health and wellbeing of their staff, as well as the local communities they are operating within.

Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Air quality, noise and light pollution (e.g. dust, ash, smoke, odours, traffic)
  • Water quality (e.g. potable, recycling water, wastewater, recreational water bodies)
  • Land and hazard management (e.g. mosquito-borne diseases, pests, pesticide usage, contaminated sites, soil types)
  • Radiation
  • Workforce health
  • Communities

 

Work & Lifestyle Factors

Health And Fitness

Many accommodation sites provide facilities for exercise and recreation which are highly beneficial, particularly if work routines are mainly sedentary, mentally demanding or repetitive.

Regular physical exercise aids in maintaining physical and mental fitness, particularly when combined with a healthy diet and adequate sleep. Exercise regimes should incorporate both aerobic and musculoskeletal fitness. Education of the workforce on the benefits of health and fitness should also be considered.

Fitness For Work

Long hours, structure of shifts and demanding nature of the work performed can expose workers to fitness-for-work concerns. The facilities, design and management of the mining camps can aid in mitigating some of the issues associated with:

  • Shift structure and working hours
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Fatigue

What To Expect When Staying At A Mining Camp

While many mining camps will run slightly differently, there are some general assumptions that you can make when attending mine site accommodation is remote areas.

Accommodation

In recent times, mining camps have moved away from rooms that had shared bathrooms, to now offering their staff rooms that consist of a medium sized bedroom with an ensuite. Generally, mining camp accommodation includes a king single bed, a TV, small fridge, wardrobe and desk. Rooms commonly feature air conditioning to allow for the creation of a comfortable environment for employees.

Sport & Recreation

A recent push for healthier workers has resulted in many mining camps offering gym and recreational facilities for their employees. Not only are these beneficial for the health and fitness of the workforce, but they provide an alternative social outlet to drinking at the bar. It is not uncommon to find cardio and weight training equipment within these facilities and it is becoming increasingly popular for permanent mining camps to have swimming pools for recreational use.

Dining

Catering for a large number of employees, camp kitchens and dining rooms are open for service to accommodate both night and day shift workers. The dining you can expect at a mining camp is normally buffet style, with various options available to employees for both breakfast and dinner. Some camps will offer salads, pre-made meals, fruit and sandwiches for their workers to take for lunch.

Alcohol

Mining exploration camps fall into two categories when concerned with alcohol – wet and dry camps. Dry camps enforce total bans on alcohol, including in your room and even within your car if it is parked on site. Being caught with alcohol at a dry camp will generally lead to an eviction, which can have implications on your employment.

A majority of mining camps will have a bar or pub-like facility known as the Wet Mess. These facilities generally open at the end of shift for around 2-3 hours, so employees can enjoy a drink with their shift crews. The wet mess generally doubles as a general store for basic items such as cigarettes and toothbrushes.

Other Amenities

Larger camps will often have additional facilities such as common rooms with larger TVs, pool and table tennis tables, conference rooms for team and executive meetings and outdoor barbecue areas that can be utilised by workers staying on site. Most mining camps will have 24-hour laundry facilities, with washing machines and clothes dryers available to use free of charge.

Our Capabilities

SPG specialises in delivering remote mobile camps, an ideal solution suited to exploration projects across Western Australia. Since 2006, the team at SPG has been focused on providing high quality camp facilities and exceptional customer service to all clients. We design and manufacture our own fleet of purpose-built caravans that allow you to work and rest in comfort, regardless of how remote your mining projects are.

Our team is highly experienced in all aspects of turnkey mining camps, so you can rest assured that your exploration project’s requirements will be met to the highest degree of satisfaction. To learn more, or find out how SPG can help your business, get in contact today!