Resources

WA Resource Industry has united in apologizing to workplace sexual assault victims

The CME WA represents approximately 80 companies which are responsible for 95 percent of the commodities produced in the state.

Woodside executive vice president of operations and CME WA’s first-ever female president Fiona Hick said the industry’s rapprochement was a sign of its commitment to tackle harassment and abuse.

“We have 140,000 people in the area and we have always been committed to safety,” she said.

The extent of the harassment still unknown

There have been two separate cases of alleged rapes involving BHP staff and a third incident of misconduct at Fortescue that came to light last week, with resource companies closely scrutinized on what they are doing to protect female employees. on male-dominated sites.

Mr Everingham, who has headed the chamber for more than three years, said he had become more aware of the industry’s problems following the decision by the Australian Human Rights Commission Respect @ Work report that investigated sexual harassment in workplaces across the country.

A 2018 survey in the report asking whether respondents had been sexually harassed in the past five years found that 74% of women surveyed in the mining industry said they had done so.

Although Mr Everingham said the problem was “prevalent” he did not know how many cases there had been in the industry and had not sought the information from the government regulator.

Representatives from Rio Tinto, Fortescue, Woodside and BHP also didn’t want to say how many cases they’ve dealt with historically or how much of a big problem they face.

Rio Tinto and BHP said they had recently been the subject of workplace reviews on the matter, while Fortescue and Woodside reported annual surveys where employees could discuss their issues.

Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Simon Trott told reporters his company was not immune and had been the victim of sexual harassment and intimidation.

“I want to recognize the impact this has on individuals and on our business, we are certainly determined to do better, we have a number of actions underway and we still have work to do to really make sure that our workplaces are safe and inclusive, ”he said.

Felicity Hughes, Regional CFO of Newmont, HR Director of Fortescue Linda O’Farrell, CEO of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA Paul Everingham, Executive Vice President of Woodside Operations Fiona Hick, CEO of Iron Ore from Rio Tinto Simon Trott, president of iron ore assets at BHP WA Brandon Craig and Jess Farrell, general manager of planning and integrated operations at BHP, take a position on sexual harassment in the resource industry.Credit:Kruijff stone

“People didn’t always feel safe to raise their voices. People have not always felt safe in our workplaces and this is something we need to change.

“Sometimes they thought it might impact their careers, sometimes they thought they might not have been listened to and I just cheer on anyone who has… suffered from disrespectful behavior, in our workplace or in the whole industry, just have your say and help us root that out of the industry.

Resource companies have put in place measures such as safe spaces, personal safety apps, safety chaperones and increased video surveillance as part of efforts to protect workers in air camps and air camps.

BHP has reduced the amount of alcohol allowed per day to six beers with a further reduction to four coming on July 1.

Brandon Craig, chairman of the company’s iron ore assets, said the changes in alcohol were the result of a broader review of the company’s iron arm.

“We identified that there was potentially a risk of impacts inside our camps, we decided it was important to take action,” he said.

“One of the main things that came out of this review was the quality of our alcohol management as a business. It was therefore subsequently that we began to take measures to better manage alcohol within our company.

Rio Tinto is also considering reviewing its alcohol policies.

Fortescue’s personnel manager, Linda O’Farrell, said her business wouldn’t be completely inclusive until everyone was safe.

“Obviously there are still some incredibly distressing cases and as I have said on several occasions, one is too many. So I think we just have to get on with our work and make our workplaces the places we want them to be, ”she said.

Mr Craig said BHP takes an approach to sexual harassment similar to its general safety policy.

“The goal is zero,” he said. “We want this to be eradicated from our industry.

“When we really put our energy in and focus on this particular problem, I think we’re going to do a particularly good job. “

Parliament turns the microscope on industry

Liberal MP Libby Mettam has indicated that she wants to launch an investigation into sexual harassment in the resource industry as chair of the Standing Committee on Community Justice.

She said the recent allegations were distressing and it was clear the committee should look at FIFO workplaces and the worrying treatment of women working in the sector.

“I firmly believe that there is an opportunity for the community to hear from the workers, to speak to the industry and understand this issue, and to report to parliament and the community on how these workplaces may be more conducive to women, ”Ms. Mettam said.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said he supported an investigation and made sure the working environment in mines and gas was as safe as possible, but reviewing individual cases was a matter of the police.

“It’s about looking at the overall problem and how we are making the environment for our miners away from home and a large number of people coming together as safe as possible for everyone involved,” he said. he declares.

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