AMSJ » Mining giant flags vaccine mandate across all mine sites

Mining giant flags vaccine mandate across all mine sites

Anglo Grosvenor mine meeting
Anglo staff meeting

A multinational resources company could lock out any employee who is unvaccinated against the pandemic.

Anglo American recently warned its entire workforce to be immunised against coronavirus (COVID-19) by the end of February 2022, otherwise potentially face being barred from mine sites, offices and camps.

“It is very likely we will see COVID-19 cases increase throughout Queensland over coming months, and we believe we have an obligation to help protect the more than 5500 people who work for us in Queensland, as well as our local communities,” Anglo Australia CEO Tyler Mitchelson said in a public statement. “Vaccination is the best way to help keep our people and communities safe.”

The remarks came after the employer consulted with staff about the draft COVID-19 vaccination policy. It spent months conducting detailed risk assessments and workforce meetings.

“In developing our draft COVID-19 vaccination policy, we have taken into account expert health advice as well as the comparably low rates of vaccination in the areas we operate in,” Mitchelson said.

“Many of our workforce live in nearby local communities but there are also people who commute to work from Mackay, Rockhampton and other regional centres as well as southeast Queensland. We recognise that once COVID-19 cases do start to occur more frequently in Queensland, the risk of transmission due to people movements will be higher.”

Anglo plans to offer direct employees and contractors the opportunity to be vaccinated during work time. Anyone with special circumstances can request an exemption.

“We understand there are certain cases where people cannot get vaccinated, and we would work with these individuals to assess their individual circumstances under an exemption process within our draft policy,” Mitchelson said.

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The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently ordered BHP to stop banning unvaccinated workers from entering the Mount Arthur Coal Mine in Muswellbrook, 127km northwest of Newcastle. The FWC criticised the employer for unlawfully, unreasonably, and inadequately consulting with employees before forcing them to take the jab.

The order came about two months after BHP made COVID-19 vaccination a condition of entry to mine sites and offices, starting from 31 January 2022. The mandate resulted in up to 50 workers being stood down without pay at the Mt Arthur mine.

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AMSJ April 2022