Keeping our offshore workforce COVID19-safe

Rapid Antigen Testing at the Longford Heliport
Esso Australia is conducting Rapid Antigen Testing of its offshore workforce to keep our people as safe as possible so we can maintain our supply of essential energy to Australia.

After careful planning, Esso Australia successfully set up a drive through facility to enable Rapid Antigen Testing of our offshore workforce on 4 October 2021, before the Victorian government announced it will be rolling out the same testing across the Victorian healthcare system.

“The Rapid Antigen Testing is just the latest addition to a suite of tools and practices we are using to keeping our people safe, so that we can maintain our essential operations,” said Esso Australia Occupational Health Manager, Dr Marcus Hirschfield.

“The week before we rolled out the rapid testing, our Gippsland workforce supplied 97% of the natural gas used in Victoria, 70% of the gas consumed in New South Wales and 100% of the gas used in Tasmania.”

“So many Australians are relying on us to continue operating so we can maintain our supply of natural gas, especially as those of us down south continue to experience colder weather,” said Dr Hirschfield.

“That’s why we’re using every practical method available to keep our people COVID-safe.”

More than 500 offshore and heliport staff members are tested at the Longford Heliport each week. Workers must return a negative result before they can board a helicopter to travel to their offshore work location or continue working at the heliport.

“These tests, which are conducted under the supervision of a registered health care practitioner, have been approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and produce accurate results in just 15 to 20 minutes,” said Dr Hirschfield.

 “The drive-through testing facility has been well received by our workforce and provides them with confidence their offshore work environment is safe.”