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InvestmentsIron ore majors tighten security amid Western Australian sexual harassment inquiry By...

Iron ore majors tighten security amid Western Australian sexual harassment inquiry By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A employee checks a truck loaded with iron ore on the Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) Christmas Creek iron ore mine situated south of Port Hedland within the Pilbara area of Western Australia, November 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Regan

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Major Australian iron ore corporations say they’re rising security measures at distant mine websites and bettering coaching to attempt to change an business tradition that has seen excessive charges of sexual assault.

Measures may even embody slicing down on extra ingesting of alcohol on the fly in, fly out “FIFO” camps, mining executives advised a Western Australian state inquiry.

Sexual harassment is rife at mining camps within the state, which supplies greater than half of the world’s provide of iron ore, submissions to the federal government inquiry confirmed in August.

The inquiry, which can report its findings subsequent 12 months, was initiated after high-profile instances of sexual assault by miners emerged.

Women make up roughly one in 5 employees on the camps and critics have stated recreation amenities have grow to be hubs for ingesting alcohol and created poor camp cultures that miners want to deal with.

The corporations are bettering lighting at camps, including security equivalent to workers, CCTV and new locks, in addition to revamping coaching to deal with respect and slicing down entry to alcohol, executives from Fortsecue Metals Group and Rio Tinto (NYSE:) stated this week, including to BHP Group (NYSE:)’s feedback earlier this month.

Fortescue Chief Executive Elisabeth Gaines advised the inquiry this week that in addition to bettering bodily security options at its camps it was revising coaching round office tradition, behaviour and management.

It may even restrict the acquisition of alcohol throughout all of its websites to 4 mid-strength drinks in a 24-hour interval, much like measures launched by BHP and Rio Tinto this 12 months.

Rio iron ore boss Simon Trott advised the inquiry it had began a management program to enhance inclusivity in its tradition and was strengthening preventative methods together with bystander coaching and inspiring individuals to report unacceptable behaviour.

“We are committed to changing the culture of our organisation to make safety and respect the lived reality for our people,” he stated.

The mining corporations collectively stated they’d arrange training programmes in colleges and coaching centres within the state geared toward stopping sexual harassment, racism and bullying.

BHP iron ore boss Brandon Craig stated earlier this month it was investing A$300 million to bettering the protection and security of its amenities. BHP has fired 48 employees in two years for incidents associated to sexual harassment, it stated in its submission.

Owen Whittle, a spokesperson for UnionsWA, which represents 30 employees teams, stated the unions welcomed the commitments to enhance amenities and security. It desires to see these modifications taken up by contractors who make use of a lot of the distant mine workforce.

“While there has been some preliminary announcements, we are yet to see a real turn in the culture and that is not done overnight, that’s a long term commitment,” Whittle advised Reuters.

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