Information is key in the fight against COVID-19 which has prompted surface mining industry association, ASPASA to ensure that its members and their staff are well informed about the disease.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in South Africa, the association has launched an active communication campaign designed to convey news and finding about the disease. It hosted its first-ever webinar during lockdown and published an array of posters that can be downloaded, printed and displayed by its members.

These are updated regularly as new information becomes available in order to assist in the response to the disease as well as allay fears and counter misinformation in the workplace.

ASPASA director, Nico Pienaar, says that a lot of information available on social and other media platforms, but stakeholders do not always know how it relates to our industry and circumstances. Mining is quite different to office environments and even to other outdoor activities such as farming or other business trades.

“As a result, we try to put out information that is relevant to our industry and helps in the fight against disease. Our poster campaign and newsletter information is aimed at spreading infection control measures, social distancing steps, PPE applications and other importing information that can be shared widely among staff stakeholders. In some instance, if required, we also try to address misconceptions so that we can deal with facts alone,” said Pienaar.

The latest posters address some of the latest challenges highlighted by ASPASA members and include information on gauging risk levels when coming into contact with COVID-19 positive individuals, disease risk and quarantine criteria, natural immune system boosters, home remedies for healthy individuals and more. “We hope that these interventions will help our industry to effectively fight the disease and stop its spread in the near future,” concluded Pienaar.

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