BHP decides to test its own COVID tracing app

Voluntary field trials will soon be underway in Chile.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Australian mining giant BHP announced this week that it has decided to create its own COVID tracing app and would be conducting field tests in Chile next week.

BHP said the app was developed by its technology and health, safety and environment (HSE) departments for use in its mining and petroleum operations, and would be used to limit the spread of coronavirus.

"The field trial will include BHP's site and office employees in Chile, and it will be done in compliance with local law and under BHP data privacy policies and controls to ensure data accuracy and test technical configuration," the mining giant said in a COVID notice.

"In the event that an employee or contractor tests positive to COVID-19, authorised HSE personnel would use that person's data -- with their permission -- to identify their movements while at work and quickly isolate, clean, and sanitise the areas in which they had been working to reduce the risk of surface transmission."

If successful in its trial, the app could be rolled out at other BHP sites.

"The data could also be used to expedite existing contact tracing measures, and complement similar measures already in place in countries such as Singapore and Australia," BHP said.

The mining giant said most of its office workers are still working remotely, but staff in places such as Houston and Santiago are slowly returning to work while following social distancing guidelines.

Separately on Thursday, BHP announced it was appointing former HP Inc CEO and president Dion Weisler to its board.

Before landing at HP, Weisler was a vice president at Lenovo, and held various roles at Telstra and Acer.

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