A FIFO worker charged with sexually assaulting a female colleague at a BHP mine site in Western Australia’s north in November 2020 has indicated he intends to fight the allegations.
The incident happened at Mulla Mulla accommodation village near the BHP South Flank iron ore mine in the Pilbara region. The 36-year-old man is charged with two counts of sexual penetration without consent.
He faced Perth Magistrates Court on 9 June 2021 where his identity was suppressed, and he was granted bail with a $10,000 personal undertaking and a $10,000 surety. The man is scheduled to next appear in court on July 21.
BHP terminated the man’s contract following the alleged incident.
“Sexual assault or harassment is unacceptable at BHP, full stop.” BHP in a statement said.
“We are absolutely clear on this, and all employees, contractors and those that come to our sites are made aware of their obligation to support a safe and respectful workplace.
“Any allegation of sexual assault or harassment is investigated by an independent central investigations team, and we encourage people to report any incidents that occur to authorities.”
“Measures include mandatory company-wide training dedicated to respectful behaviours, improvements to facilities such as lighting, signage and CCTV coverage, increased security presence and stricter controls on alcohol consumption.”
In the past year, BHP has established a ‘walk to room service’ scheme where women uncomfortable walking home alone can be escorted either from the site, dining halls or pub. BHP is also planning to introduce alcohol restrictions in July, limiting workers to four drinks per day.
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