BHP has fired 48 workers for sexual harassment since 2019


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – BHP Group fired 48 staff in the two years to the end of June for sexual harassment, it told a Western Australian government inquiry investigating such incidents at mining camps in the mineral-rich state.

The government probe comes as the sector struggles with a dire skills shortage and low female representation.

BHP received four rape allegations, one allegation of attempted rape and other reports of unwanted sexual touching, in addition to 73 substantiated reports of sexual harassment from June 2019 to June 2021, it said in a submission.

Two rape allegations were substantiated, investigation for one was continuing and one was not substantiated, it said in the report, which outlined sweeping measures to reduce such incidents.

That includes $300 million to increase camp security by improving its training and workforce vetting practices, making reporting of incidents easier, and ensuring its contractors abide by those rules.

Other major miners including Rio Tinto Fortescue, unions and interest groups have also made submissions to the enquiry, which will make recommendations to West Australia’s parliament in April 2022.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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