New safety program for Western Australia’s FIFO workforce
The McGowan Government has established a new program to address the serious issue of workplace sexual harassment and assault in the mining industry.
The new Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) program will be funded with an initial $1.9 million.
It will also boost responses to mental health, drug and alcohol use and other health and safety issues in the mining industry.
The initiative will enhance the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s (DMIRS) enforcement model and processes for responding to incidents of sexual harassment and assaults.
DMIRS is working with companies that have revealed the non-disclosure of events in the current parliamentary inquiry to determine whether or not they should be prosecuted.
DMIRS will manage the MARS program in partnership with the Mental Health Commission, the Equal Opportunity Commission and the Women’s Interests Minister.
This first phase of the MARS Program is scheduled to commence in 2022.
The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring safe workplaces for all WA employees, including through implementing the 12 Respect@Work report recommendations that apply to the State Government and developing Western Australia’s first whole-of-government Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy.
“The safety and health of workers is a high priority for the McGowan Government. Every worker should be able to go to work without fear of physical or psychological harm.
“This $1.9 million funding allocation will support the first phase of the MARS program to address serious mental health, workplace culture and mine safety issues.” said Minster for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston.
“As the Minister for Women’s Interests I’m very aware that women face an unacceptable and disproportionate risk of sexual violence in their homes, workplaces and communities.
“The level of underreporting of sexual assault and harassment in the mining and resources sector is completely unacceptable.
“The McGowan Government is acting to ensure workers – especially those working on mine sites – are safe and protected at work.” said Minister for Women’s Interests Simone McGurk.