AMSJ » Employers will mandate mine worker training in ‘disrespectful’ behaviour

Employers will mandate mine worker training in ‘disrespectful’ behaviour

Rio Tinto female worker
A female mine worker

Three major resources companies proposed that employees undergo compulsory education in what constitutes a poor work environment.

BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) workers could soon be required to attend mandatory training on “disrespectful” behaviour in the workplace.

The new Building Safe and Respectful Workplaces pilot program was collaboratively launched with Griffith University, and the Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance, to help “eliminate” bullying, racism and sexual harassment across the industry. Thirty apprentices and trainees spent two days learning how to recognise and report behaviours that could create substandard employment conditions between 15 and 16 November 2022.

Outcomes and participant feedback from the trial-run will be used to guide the final learning program, which will be rolled out sometime in 2023. Training materials will also be shared with other employers.

“This pilot is a key milestone in our broader commitment to create a workplace culture that is safe, respectful and inclusive. Building awareness through education on how we can create safer work environments through the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment, bullying and racism is vital to ensuring those joining our industry feel safe,” Rio iron ore chief executive Simon Trott said in a public statement.

“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,” BHP Western Australian iron ore asset president Brandon Craig added.

FMG hopes the training will bring the sector one step closer to ending poor work environments.

“We are pleased to be working with our industry peers towards the common goal of ensuring that sexual harassment, bullying and other inappropriate behaviours do not occur in the mining industry,” FMG iron ore chief operating officer Dino Otranto said.

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