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Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program in the mining industry

The Landmark Study

Register your interest for the upcoming report launch event

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Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program Landmark Study Report: Insights from the worker survey and interviews

The Insights from the Worker Survey and Interviews report surveyed 2,550 WA mine workers to understand their perceptions of mental health awareness, respect and safety. Sixty further workers were interviewed one-on-one.
Key findings

Safety remains a strength of the industry - most WA mining workers reported high levels of safety behaviours such as safety compliance and safety participation


Underreporting of notifiable safety incidents and near misses while low, continue to exist in the industry


4 in 10 workers reported experiencing positive aspects of mental health at work


Nearly 4 in 10 workers reported feeling burnt out at work


Levels of bullying are high - while preliminary indicators suggest that rates of bullying have decreased since 2018, 16% of workers reported experiencing bullying at least 2-3 times per month in the last 6 months.


Covert forms of sexual harassment (e.g., sexism, misogyny, sexual remarks) are far more prevalent in the mining industry compared to overt forms of sexual harassment

Register for the upcoming MARS Program Report launch event

To express interest, please click the button below.

About this research

The Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program is a WA Government initiative that aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of workers and others in the mining industry. The Landmark Study is one of the many initiatives under the MARS Program.


The Landmark Study was commissioned by the Western Australian Government to design and implement a research and evaluation project focused on the mining industry, regarding three focus areas:

Creating mentally healthy workplaces

By managing psychosocial hazards and promoting positive practices at work that support mental health and wellbeing

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Building a culture of safety and respect

With healthy, safe, gender-equitable, respectful and inclusive workplaces

Preparing workplace safety in the future mine

Addressing emerging risks and fostering innovation in safety by design, automation and artificial intelligence

Our approach

The Landmark Study will be completed over a four year period, including:
  • A mapping and scoping exercise of initiatives currently undertaken by the Australian mining industry, and initiatives that are applicable to the mining industry

  • A literature review to summarise the existing research

  • A workplace policy and practices survey to understand the initiatives related to mental health, respect, and safety that WA mining companies currently undertake

  • One-on-one, confidential listening sessions with workers and contractors

  • An employee survey of workers and contractors to better understand perceptions of mental health, respect and safety

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MARS - Our approach
To get involved in the Landmark Study
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Our advisory groups

Industry Expert Panel

We have invited representatives from peak bodies, unions, government and public health to join the MARS Industry Expert Panel. The Industry Expert Panel includes representatives from organisations, associations and bodies who are committed to contributing to meaningful change in the mining industry.

A key aim of the Industry Expert Panel is to maximise the impact of the MARS Landmark Study by ensuring that the research is guided not only by scientific evidence, but also that findings and recommendations are contextualised for the current Australian mining context and resonates with practices in the mental health sector.

The industry expert members of this panel will advise the project team on the unique challenges and issues of the mining industry, to provide feedback at each stage of the project, to connect the project team to organisations in the mining industry, to contextualise findings, and assist with disseminating findings and recommendations.

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Academic Panel

We have a team of senior academics who are subject matter experts who are established and well-respected in their fields.

Members of this panel include senior academics from Curtin University (School of Population Health), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and the University of Western Australia (School of Psychological Science).

The academic members of this panel will provide technical oversight of the methodology, contribute to selection of reliable and valid survey measures and provide advise on data analysis approaches, and review key reports.



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NEW: Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program Landmark Study Report: Insights from the worker survey and interviews

This report establishes a baseline of current practices and experiences, through:

  • a workplace policy and practices survey that assesses the initiatives that mining companies engage in to support employee well-being;

  • an employee survey that assesses employees’ experiences in regard to the three focus areas;

  • employee interviews to understand the lived experiences of employees in relation to the three focus areas.

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Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety in the mining industry –
MARS Program Landmark Study: Workplace policy and practice survey

This report establishes as baseline of current pracitces and experiences, through a workplace policy and practice survey. The survey asked than 100 human resources and related experts about the initiatives engaged in by their current companies.

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Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety in the mining industry –
The Landmark Study: A review and synthesis of the literature

This report provides a literature review which provides an
overview and synthesis of the current literature
concerning the three focus areas:


  • Creating mentally healthy workplaces

  • Building a culture of safety and respect

  • Preparing for workplace safety in the future mine

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Towards a healthy and safe workforce in the mining industry: A review and mapping of current practice

This report provides an assessment of employee well-being in the mining sector and develops an innovative approach to construct measures of employers’ prioritisation of three dimensions of well-being: mental health and well-being, physical health and safety, and workplace culture that protects against sexual harassment.

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Impact of FIFO work arrangements on the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers

Report produced for the WA Mental Health Commission (September 2018)

MARS - Publications
MARS - Sign up for updates

Learn more about our study on FIFO mental health

In 2018 extensive research was conducted by expert researchers from Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. More than 3000 FIFO workers and partners were surveyed or interviewed.

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Sign up for updates

To receive the report when published or attend the free launch event

Or If you have any questions or feedback on the MARS Landmark Study, please contact us and a member of the project team will get back to you shortly.

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