The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) and its member companies seek to reinforce their commitment to both the vital role women play in the mining and resources sector, and ensuring safe workplaces for all employees.
CME President Fiona Hick said recent media reporting about the treatment of women on sites had only sharpened the sector’s focus on the wellbeing of its people.
“With more than 140,000 people employed by our sector, it’s very much the case that those people are our most important assets,” Ms Hick said.
“The health and safety of workers has always been our No.1 priority, and member companies are 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.”
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 having run the Women In Resources Awards annually since 2010.
A recently-established Safe & Respectful Behaviors Working Group will involve senior work, health and safety and diversity and inclusion representatives from range of member companies.
Among the initiatives the working group will focus on:
- A code of conduct for employees of member companies – focussed on behaviour at external events, after hours on site and, and social media activities. This will include considerations for contractors and third parties.
- Implementation of a wide 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 Chief Executive Paul Everingham said the mining and resources sector was not alone in working to address such issues.
“While we constantly strive to create workplaces in which our people will have good experiences, there is always room to improve and it’s imperative that we are always working to do that,” Mr Everingham said.
“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.”