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BHP, Rio Tinto, Fortescue launch pilot program to create safer workplaces

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Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue announced they are launching a pilot program aimed at helping to eliminate disrespectful behaviour in the resources industry including sexual harassment, bullying and racism.

The launch comes after the three companies formed a partnership in October last year as part of their combined response to reports of unacceptable sexual harassment in the mining industry.

The companies said they have worked together with leading experts to design and develop the industry-first program aimed at educating new entrants to the sector.

The evidence-based program will educate participants about the impact of sexual harassment, bullying and racism, including how to recognise and report these behaviours. 

The Building Safe and Respectful Workplaces pilot program, project managed by the Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA), were delivered on November 15 and 16 by experienced facilitators from Griffith University.

The pilot program will be completed by 30 volunteers who are currently undertaking apprenticeships or traineeships with the three companies. The results of the pilot will be fully evaluated and feedback from the participants will be used to finalise the learning program.

It is intended the program will be delivered from early next year with a particular focus on new entrants to the mining industry.  As part of an ongoing commitment to educate about respectful behaviour, the companies will engage across industry and education providers on how to broaden the reach of the program.

“Programs such as this help educate the next generation of workers to ensure our workplaces are safe, respectful and inclusive,”  BHP Western Australia iron ore asset president Brandon Craig said in the statement.

“While we know there is more to do, this pilot is part of our redoubled efforts to eliminate sexual harassment, and is in addition to a range of other measures including improved security at accommodation villages, additional public disclosures, specialised resources and company-wide training,” Craig said. “We’re proud to be working with leading industry partners to deliver this important program as we work together to eliminate disrespectful behaviours from our industry.”


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