| 11 August 2023

WA anti-harassment programs for resources sector

Two programs launched by the Western Australian Government will aim to create safer and more diverse environments within the states resources sector.

A new campaign called SPEAK UP, REPORT IT will serve as a reminder to all those working in the resources sector to report workplace sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour to WorkSafe.

This is accompanied by an additional two full time roles working on WorkSafe’s 24/7 reporting hotline 1800 678 198, where workers can anonymously report any safety incidents.

The Western Australian Government’s pilot Respect in Mining program is also underway. The program offers a suite of tools for workplaces to use when implementing gender equality policies and practices in their business.

Resources developed by Government will help businesses to set standards, policies, and procedures for expectations of behaviour and information on how to respond to sexual harassment and assault.

In the Engineers Australia submission to the Inquiry into sexual harassment against women in the FIFO mining industry in 2021, Engineers Australia called for a mechanism to enable independent reporting with the ability to report anonymously. 

Engineers Australia’s WA General Manager Susan Kreemer Pickford says it’s good to see action in response to the recommendations of the Inquiry documented in the Enough is Enough report.

“As women still only account for 14 per cent of working engineers, safety may be one of the contributing factors to women's low participation in the profession.”

“These programs are a good step forward for WA and the resources sector. Ensuring everyone is safe in their workplaces should be non-negotiable,” she says.

“Engineers Australia has been a long-time advocate for greater diversity in engineering teams. This is reflected in Recommendation 5 of the Enough is Enough report, “while merely ‘adding more women’ to the mix is not enough to remedy cultural problems, mining companies need to improve the gender balance in their workplaces. Part of this must include greater effort to increase female workforce participation, with specific focus on site-level supervisor and management positions.”

More information on both programs is available on the WA Government website.