Just a few short months ago, we would have thought that COVID-19 was almost behind us and that it was only a matter of time before mine operators would no longer have to worry about the spread of the disease at their worksites. It looked like face masks and vaccinations had done their jobs, and that we had turned the corner on the pandemic.
It turns out we may have been just a tad over-optimistic. Like every other sector, the mining industry is looking at growing numbers of positive cases. In an environment where employees cannot work remotely; often live in small, tight-knit communities; and (particularly at underground mines) must work in close quarters, mine operators need to consider whether it makes sense to require miners to get the COVID-19 shot.
The mining industry is not alone. While many employers initially were hesitant to institute mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies, the recent surge driven by the Delta variant and announcements from large organizations—including the U.S. military, United Airlines, and major health care systems across the country—have caused many employers to revisit mandatory vaccination policies. Continue Reading