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New landmark study for stronger action to improve work in WA mining

The Centre for Transformative Work Design has been awarded funding for a landmark study into mental health and workplace culture across Western Australia's mining sector.

Funded through the WA Government's Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety program, which was initially launched in December 2021, the funding enables the centre (part of Curtin University’s Future of Work Institute) to undertake a four-year research project to gather and evaluate data on sexual assault, harassment, mental health, drug and alcohol use, and emerging mine safety issues.

This funding aims to further develop mental health and workplace culture initiatives and improve safety outcomes, with preliminary findings expected to be available by September this year.

“Workers and their families are the backbone of WA’s mining sector and we remain committed to ensuring they work in a safe environment,” Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said in the media release.

“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.

“Health and safety champions such as the Centre for Transformative Work Design will play an important role in shaping our future workforce.”

Director of Curtin University’s Centre for Transformative Work Design, ARC Laureate Fellow Sharon Parker said the study will assess the impact of what mining organisations have already been doing to create healthy workplaces, as well as identify what they can do in the future.

“Mining plays a key role in our economy, so it is crucial that people who work in this sector have jobs that are not only physically safe, but also safe from a mental health perspective,” Professor Parker said.

“With this funding, a team of experts will work closely with companies, industry bodies, unions and others to deliver evidence-based guidance on how to ensure quality work for all mining employees.”

The full media statement can be found here .

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