WA Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston has announced the successful tender for a landmark study into workplace safety and mental health across the state’s mining sector.
To be completed by the Centre for Transformative Work Design as part of the Future of Work Institute at Curtin University, the research project is set to be completed over the course of four years.
Gathering and evaluating data on sexual assault, harassment, mental health, drug and alcohol use, and emerging mine safety issues, the study forms part of the State Government’s Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) program, which was launched in December 2021.
The initial findings of the study, expected to be completed by September 2022, will be employed to develop further workplace culture initiatives and improve safety outcomes.
“Important steps have already commenced to create safe, gender-equitable and inclusive workplaces through the implementation of the Stronger Together: WA’s Plan for Gender Equality plan and the WA Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Strategy,” Johnston said.
“Health and safety champions such as the Centre for Transformative Work Design will play an important role in shaping our future workforce.”
The submissions received as a part of the tender process were reviewed by a panel consisting of staff from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, the Mental Health Commission and the Department of Communities.
The study supports the WA Government’s response to sexual harassment and assault within the mining sector and the research aims to encourage wellbeing and greater productivity within the workforce.
“Workers and their families are the backbone of WA’s mining sector and we remain committed to ensuring they work in a safe environment,” Johnston said.