Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group are launching an innovative pilot program aimed at helping to eliminate disrespectful behavior in the resources industry including sexual harassment, bullying and racism. The launch comes after the three companies formed a partnership in October last year as part of their combined response to reports of unacceptable sexual harassment in the mining industry.

The three companies have worked together with leading experts to design and develop the industry-first program aimed at educating new entrants to the sector.

The evidence-based program will educate participants about the impact of sexual harassment, bullying and racism, including how to recognize and report these behaviozrs.

The Building Safe and Respectful Workplaces pilot program, project managed by the Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA), will be delivered on November 15 and 16 by experienced facilitators from Griffith University.

The pilot program will be completed by 30 volunteers who are currently undertaking apprenticeships or traineeships with the three companies. The results of the pilot will be fully evaluated and feedback from the participants will be used to finalize the learning program.  It is intended the program will be delivered from early next year with a particular focus on new entrants to the mining industry.

As part of an ongoing commitment to educate about respectful behavior, the companies said they will engage across industry and education providers on how to broaden the reach of the program. It is anticipated the training course will be made available to other industries in the future through a range of education pathways.