The following is an abridgement of a media release originally published on the WA Government website.
The mining company entered into an enforceable undertaking after WorkSafe WA accused it of not complying with an inspector’s request for documents using the powers of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020. The documents were related to dozens of alleged sexual harassment incidents at its mines sites. Acting WorkSafe Commissioner Sally North agreed to drop a prosecution with the acceptance of the enforceable undertaking.
An enforceable undertaking is an alternative to prosecution, but it is not an admission or finding of guilt.
The mining company has to spend $1.4 million on various initiatives to address inappropriate workplace behaviours in the mining industry. These initiatives include:
The enforceable undertaking is expected to have positive outcomes for workers across the mining sector, as it will improve industry capability, awareness, and culture on work health and safety and sexual harassment prevention. The undertaking is also a substantial investment by the mining company which was recognised by WorkSafe WA as being well above the fine that could be imposed if it was convicted of the underlying charges.
WorkSafe WA will monitor the progress of the undertaking by meeting with the company on a quarterly basis. If the company fails to deliver the undertaking, WorkSafe WA will take further action.
WorkSafe and Fortescue agree to Enforceable Undertaking by WA Government, 18th December, 2023.