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A proactive approach to sexual harassment safety in WA Mining

Every mine worker should feel safe when they’re on site – not only at the

working face, but also when they return to camp at the end of their shift.


The major players, mid-tier miners and juniors have all poured significant investment

into new technologies to improve the physical safety of personnel in the work

environment (with PPE, collision risk systems etc) to reduce incidents and fatalities.


But what about the safety of workers beyond the open pit/underground operation?

The safety of workers when they venture back to their accommodation, head to the

tavern, wet mess, gym or even their private quarters?


Unfortunately for a portion of workers in WA mining, sexual harassment is a harsh

reality, particularly for women who accounted for 74% of the complaints in a recent

(very public) inquiry into this issue.


The WA government-led inquiry has been a tough blow for mining companies,

exposing some dark truths about Australian FIFO mining culture, as well as shining a

light on what is currently being done to prevent this behaviour, and a path forward for

miners.


In June 2022, the Australian government handed down its final report, issuing 24 recommendations for the industry to action.


In this blog piece, we share our thoughts on this issue and recommendations of our

own to create a safer environment for your team.


1. Proactive vs reactive approach


As a security company that does a lot of work with the mining industry, we’ve seen

first-hand the benefits of taking a proactive approach to safety vs a reactive

approach.


A proactive approach involves putting policies and procedures in place ahead of time

to prevent any incidents from occurring and ensuring all staff feel safe.


The latter usually involves mining companies hiring physical security after something

has gone wrong on site – a reactive approach.


While, of course, having dedicated security officers on site at all times is an added

cost for operators, the expense far outweighs the impact a single sexual harassment

complaint can have on your teams’ emotional and physical wellbeing, as well as your

entire corporate image and social license to operate.


Having a physical security guard presence at the camp is a proven deterrent and a

friendly face your team members can turn to for help, if needed.


2. Security options for site


The first step for mining companies looking to prevent sexual harassment at their

operation is ensuring there is a visible physical security presence on site.


We’re talking surveillance cameras that cover all corners of the grounds, and

employing professional, experienced security officers to patrol the site, and be on

call 24-7 to provide support where needed.


We recommend either a) having a physical security presence at all times or b)

irregular patrols so your workers do not know when the security guard will be on shift

so they therefore cannot plan any antisocial behaviour.


When it comes down to it, the duty of care lies with the mining companies when

employees are FIFO, so it is imperative companies invest in quality security systems

for their camps.


This is not a luxury anymore; it is industry standard.


3. How to choose the correct security services for your site


There are many security companies out there, so what should you be looking for

when recruiting a provider for your site?


At Goldfields Security Services, we take a compassionate, holistic approach to site

security, employing experienced security professionals who have a genuine care for

the safety of your staff.


Being empathetic is also a missing link in the security industry and is what sets us

apart. We hire staff who share our values of respect and kindness and approaching

situations with care and understanding.


You’ll also want to work with a provider that is across the ever-changing rules and

regulations and the 24 recommendations the Government has issued to promote

safer secure environments on site.


Would you like some further information on our WA Mining

Security Services?


We’d love to hear from you. Give our team a call today on 0404 449 326

to see how we can help or email us at Info@goldfieldssecurityservices.com.au



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