An Upper Hunter mine is rolling out vaccines to workers in a first for Australia’s resources sector.
Mining giant BHP is trialling workplace-based vaccinations at their Mount Arthur mine in Muswellbrook in a pilot program that is being supported by the National COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce.
Mt Arthur General Manager Adam Lancey said it’s for both direct employees and contractors on site.
“In the coming weeks, we hope to vaccinate at least 150 people, giving our workforce a readily accessible opportunity to get vaccinated against the virus while boosting local COVID vaccination rates in our region,” he said.
“Our onsite vaccination clinic is one of a suite of health and safety initiatives ranging from mask wearing, physical distancing and hygiene measures through to Rapid Antigen Testing as a condition of site entry for those coming from areas where COVID cases are present.”
“We want people to feel safer inside our gates than out and first and foremost, these controls will ensure we can continue to support the mental health and wellbeing of our workforce during this challenging time.”
“The next clinic is for Tuesday next week and we’ve got another 50 or 60 lined up for next Tuesday and we’ll see as the interest grows and the awareness grows on site I think there are people still in that apprehensive somewhat basket and we are trying to allay some of those concerns,” said Adam Lancey.
AstraZeneca is the only vaccine they’ll be using for now.
Lieutenant General John Frewen, the Coordinator General of Operation Shied said it’s a great initiative.
“This is a great initiative. Workplace vaccinations are an important part of the overall campaign.”
“I look forward to working with employers in NSW and across the country as we move to this important phase in accelerating the rollout.”
“We have seen significant interest from business, community and sporting groups and we will continue to add further groups as the vaccine supply ramps up.”
Mt Arthur has also deployed rapid antigen testing for their workforce to help prevent any COVID-19 cases on site and so far they’ve administered 5000 of them.
Image credit: BHP