WA resources sector commits to safe and respectful workplaces


Friday, 02 July, 2021

WA resources sector commits to safe and respectful workplaces

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) and its member companies are striving to reinforce their commitment to the vital role of women in the mining and resources sector, and ensuring safe workplaces for all employees. CME and its member companies have a long-term commitment to increasing participation of women in the mining and resources sector, having conducted biennial Diversity and Inclusion surveys for the past decade and run the Women in Resources Awards annually since 2010.

A Safe & Respectful Behaviours Working Group has also been established, involving senior work health and safety and diversity and inclusion representatives from a range of member companies. The working group will focus on a variety of initiatives, including a code of conduct for employees and member companies. This will be focused on behaviour at external events, after hours on site and on social media.

This will include considerations for contractors and third parties. The working group will also implement a range of safety controls for the sector, including prevention of unacceptable behaviour, best practice risk mitigation, and considerations of how operations respond to allegations and instances of unacceptable behaviour.

CME President Fiona Hick said recent media reporting about the treatment of women on sites has sharpened the sector’s focus on the wellbeing of its people. Hick stated that the health and safety of workers is the CME’s number one priority, with member companies constantly reviewing and updating their processes and controls to ensure this remains the case.

“Some of the behaviours that have been reported have been extremely worrying, and contrary to the inclusive and professional workplaces the sector is striving to achieve. Instances of rape, sexual harassment and assault are incredibly serious and totally unacceptable in any setting, including workplaces. As a sector, we must continue to make it very clear that we have no tolerance for this type of behaviour,” said Hick.

CME Chief Executive Paul Everingham noted that although the CME strives to create workplaces in which people have good experiences, there is always room to improve.

“Each and every one of our 140,000 employees is entitled to go to work knowing that’s somewhere they can feel safe. I would hope that the vast majority of our workers already feel this way. But recent reporting has shown that not all of them do. With that in mind, we all need to be working together continually to eliminate behaviours that might make women — or any group of employees — feel anything other than safe,” said Everingham.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/agnormark

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