06 September 2022
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our people, their families and the communities where we operate has remained our priority.
Keeping our people safe and healthy, to the best of our ability, has been an ongoing challenge, however we’ve worked to maintain effective controls informed by scientific evidence and local regulatory health requirements.
With vaccination being recognised as the most effective control available to combat the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, and after consulting with our people and other stakeholders, in October 2021 we announced the planned introduction of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of workplace entry to BHP managed workplaces for all workers and visitors, subject to local laws and risk factors.
We also worked with our partners to facilitate setting up vaccine clinics and supporting the uptake of vaccinations in the communities where we operate.
- In Queensland, we supported one of the first local community vaccination hubs to open in the Bowen Basin, at Moranbah. Between June 2021 and April 2022, the Vanguard Health clinic delivered more than 10,000 vaccinations, resulting in a double vaccination rate of 74% in the local region.
- We worked with South Australia Health to set up a workplace vaccination program on site at Olympic Dam alongside a mobile vaccination clinic which regularly visited Roxby Downs.
- In Western Australia, we partnered with the WA Department of Health to set up regional community vaccination clinics in the Pilbara (Newman and Port Hedland), providing expertise in remote logistics, health services and funding for medical staff, and arranged for the local clinic to help boost the vaccination rates for our workforce and the community. Clinic nurses also conducted education sessions, answering medical questions to enable community members to make informed personal decisions.
At our Nickel West operation in Western Australia, we also worked together with the Tjiwarl Traditional Owners to reach community members living in the northern Goldfields to provide them with vital public health information about COVID-19 and the importance of vaccination.
We have also contributed to COVID-19 research with two papers published in high-profile scientific journals in 2022 (Communications Medicine and PNAS Nexus). We collaborated with Yale, York, Florida and Colorado Universities, Newfields and BP. This research relates to the frequency of rapid antigen testing required to prevent outbreaks.
As the pandemic and government responses evolve, we continue to review the available science, medical advice and government actions, and monitor and evaluate our COVID-19 health and safety controls to help keep our people safe.