WA Government works to stamp out sexual harassment

The Western Australian Government has launched a landmark study worker survey in an effort to stamp out sexual harassment and promote cultural change in the state’s mining industry.

Part of the Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) program, the study was conducted by The Centre for Transformative Work Design, as part of the Future of Work Institute at Curtin University.

The survey seeks to gain a more thorough understanding of the experience of workers in the mining sector.

“The Western Australian Government continues to work with industry and the community to eliminate harassment, discrimination and bullying in the workplace,” Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said.

“The MARS program is delivering outstanding results and we will continue to support efforts that push back against inappropriate workplace behaviour.”

A number of MARS initiatives are currently on track, including a leadership summit scheduled for August 1, the Psychosocial Risk Management Program (PRMP) being delivered by FIFO Focus and a program run by the Mining and Energy Union to develop sexual harassment awareness training.

As the year progresses, a number of other initiatives will also be rolled out.

“We need to encourage more women to join the mining industry by treating them with respect, ensuring their safety and providing support,” Women’s Interests Minister Sue Ellery said.

“These initiatives demonstrate the Western Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring the WA resources sector offers a friendly, accommodating and empowering workplace for women.”

In September 2022, the Western Australian Government backed sexual harassment inquiry recommendations and launched a new Code of Practice to help improve security measures for workers staying at workplace accommodation.

“The State Government recognises the importance of providing victims of workplace sexual harassment with the opportunity to share their experiences, receive psychological support and promote healing,” Johnston said at the time.

“The MARS program oversees a number of projects including the Respect in Mining pilot program, the Thrive at Work in Mining program and a landmark study into mental health, workplace culture and safety across WA’s mining sector.”

This article originally appeared on Australian Mining.

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