Business, Earthmoving News, Workplace Health & Safety

WA launches anti-harassment campaign for mining

Two programs have been launched as part of a strategy to create safer workplaces for women in mining and drive cultural change

Harassment and bullying are the focus of the new Speak Up, Report It campaign, which is focused on the WA resources sector.

The campaign aims to remind senior executives, mine operators and workers of their responsibility to report workplace sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviours to WorkSafe.

The campaign is part of an overall approach by the WA government to tackle workplace sexual harassment, particularly towards women in mining. This is in response to recommendations from a Parliamentary Inquiry into the fly-in, fly-out mining industry that showed that women in the industry frequently experience sexual harassment and assault.

WorkSafe WA’s 24/7 hotline, where callers can remain anonymous, can be reached on 1800 678 198. This can also be used to report other mine safety incidents to WorkSafe WA.

Alongside the Speak Up, Report It campaign, the Respect in Mining program has also been launched.

The program aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the impact of gender inequality on women’s safety and the impact of gendered division in leadership within the resources sector.

Mining company Gold Fields Australia will participate in a 12-month pilot of the program across its WA operations, scheduled to begin in early 2024.

Research and development of the program has been undertaken by Curtin University’s Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health, which has created a suite of tools and resources for use in the pilot.

“We all have a responsibility to speak out against sexual harassment and other unacceptable workplace behaviours,” WA Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston says.

“It is vital there is a clear point of contact for those that experience sexual harassment at work. Sexual harassment is a work health and safety issue and we must confront it.

“This campaign is one of the wide-ranging actions we are taking to remind mine operators of their mandatory workplace reporting obligations.”

WA Women’s Interests Minister Sue Ellery adds: “Everyone has a right to feel safe and supported at work. Workplace sexual harassment is not a women’s issue – it is a societal issue that all organisations, employers and individuals have a responsibility to address.

“I am pleased that Gold Fields Australia have agreed to pilot the Respect in Mining program and work with us to drive cultural change and help stamp out unacceptable behaviour.”

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