Should vaccinations be compulsory to work on mine sites?

In this month’s Mining People poll we’re asking what you’d do if your employer made Covid-19 vaccinations a condition of employment.

Across Australia, the relationship between Covid-19 vaccinations and a person’s employment has become a hot topic in recent weeks.

In the past month we’ve seen violent clashes in Melbourne as construction workers protested against Covid-19 vaccinations being made mandatory as a condition of employment. In Western Australia, port industry workers face the same “no jab, no job” situation. And in the mining industry, BHP has openly floated the idea of making vaccinations compulsory for all workers—with a decision on that policy set to be made soon.

Not everyone is onboard with vaccinations

Yet opinions about taking the vaccine are divided, with some people hesitant to have the jab (for a range of reasons as diverse as the fact the vaccines are relatively new and therefore untested, to broader conspiracy theories) so making them a condition of employment is always going to be controversial.

Some employees, whether they are vaccine hesitant, dedicated anti-vaxxers, or simply do not believe it is an employer’s role to insist they have something injected into their bodies, will be forced to decide between their beliefs and their job.

Others will believe everyone has a duty to take the vaccine, not just to keep themselves safe but to keep those around them as safe as possible from the virus, too—and that includes their colleagues onsite.

Sometimes jabs are part of the job

Some may point out that there are many conditions of employment and might suggest taking the Covid-19 vaccination is in line with many others. After all, Australian companies sending employees to mine sites in Africa, for example, routinely send workers off to the doctor to get jabs for yellow fever, hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid fever, rabies, meningitis, malaria, cholera and African sleeping sickness. Even employees staying in Australia submit to various health requirements, such as drug and alcohol screening, vision and hearing tests and general fitness tests, and wear PPE to keep themselves and colleagues safe onsite.

So, there’s a lot to consider. But given compulsory vaccinations are now a very real possibility and are becoming a popular topic for debate, we wanted to find out what you would do if your mining company insisted you get the jab.

Take our poll and tell us what you think!

In this month’s Mining People poll we’re asking whether you would continue working for your current employer if they made the Covid vaccine a condition of employment, and the main reason why or why not.


All survey responses are completely anonymous. The poll is open throughout October. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues who also work in the Australian mining industry. We’ll publish the results in the Mining People Newsroom in early November.

Take the poll.


Dan Hatch
Mining People International