The State Government has today (October 5) added WA’s mining sector to the industries in which onsite workers are required to have a COVID-19 vaccine.
The direction will apply to any FIFO worker in WA, in mining, oil and gas and exploration, visitors to these operations, as well as all resources sector employees who work at regional and remote mine sites.
It will also include workers at other “mission-critical” operational locations including remote operations, for example, a Perth-based remote operator of a Hedland mining train.
The Government’s deadline to receive a first dose is in two months December 1, 2021.
The deadline for a second dose is January 1, 2022.
The Government estimates there are about 141,000 resources sector workers in WA.
It will be the responsibility of employers to collect and maintain records of vaccinated workers. Aligned with other mandatory vaccination directions, there are provisions for exemptions for approved medical reasons, the Government said.
Two new airport clinics at Terminals 2 and 3 will open to help facilitate the rollout.
Premier Mark McGowan said it also applied to anyone who works in “remote operations” or runs critical infrastructure including remote train and port control.
“The aim is clear: we want to protect workers and the wider community and their families, and ensure our resources sector not only continues to thrive and operate — but in doing so powers the national economy during uncertain times,” he said.
“Our goal is also to protect our Aboriginal community and address the obvious risks posed by the movement of resources sector workers to and from regional and remote locations in the State, with many mine sites located at or near remote Aboriginal communities.”
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said: “These new directions mean that if you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine you will need to do so now to be allowed to attend or work in rural or remote mine sites and operations.”
“Under the directions, individuals that choose not to will have to work in another area of the organisation or seek other employment,” he said.
In WA, unless an exemption applies, the COVID-19 vaccine is also mandatory for:
- All residential aged care workers;
- All quarantine workers;
- All employees of WA health system entities;
- At-risk WA port workers; and
- At-risk freight, transport and logistics workers
Details on the latest rules and restrictions in WA are available here.
Separately, a growing number of private companies are mandating the vaccine in their workplaces.
Read more: CCIWA’s COVID-19 site has up-to-date information about the pandemic’s impacts on WA business.
CCIWA is advocating to move past the era of economic lockdowns and border shutdowns, which have a severe cost for WA businesses and livelihoods.
Businesses continue to work on the basis that in accordance with the National Cabinet plan, the community will be best protected by a vaccination rate of 80 per cent.
For advice on vaccinations and the workplace contact CCIWA’s Workplace Relations team on 1300 422 492 or via BusinessLawWA@cciwa.com.
For general advice and guidance, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email@example.com.