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Resources giant removes mandatory jabs at all operations

Rio Tinto safety equipment
Rio Tinto safety equipment

A multinational mining company will no longer require anyone to be immunised before entering work sites.

Rio Tinto confirmed it is removing coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine requirements across all Western Australian operations including the West Angelas Mine, 405km south of Port Hedland.

“The WA Government announced changes to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate based on current health advice. To align with the government COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be required for people attending West Angelas operations and all other Rio Tinto operations effective 10 June 2022,” general manager Mark Townson said in a brief to all employees obtained by AMSJ.

From June 10 employee, contractor and visitor vaccination status will no longer be checked during travel booking, airport screening and site-access processes.

“Status will no longer be required as a site access qualification for site. COVID-19 vaccination will [also] not be required for events including family days,” the brief said.

Townson urged every employee, contractor and visitor to voluntarily take the jab even though it is completely optional.

“As a team we have been incredibly effective in containing the spread of COVID and minimising the impact on our people at West Angelas. One of our key controls has been vaccinations, which has significantly reduced the virus’ severity,” he said in the brief.

“Despite changes to the vaccination mandate, I encourage our people to continue to prioritise their health.”

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AMSJ April 2022