Man charged with rape at BHP mine site

A man will face court charged with raping a woman at BHP’s South Flank iron ore mine site in Western Australia.

A man has been charged after an alleged sexual assault at a BHP mine site in Western Australia’s north.

Police allege the incident happened at the South Flank iron ore mine in the Pilbara region in November.

The sex assault squad has charged a 35-year-old Vasse man with two counts of sexual penetration without consent.

He was refused bail and will face Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

In a statement, BHP said the alleged perpetrator’s contract was terminated following an independent investigation.

The mining giant said sexual harassment and assault were treated as a fundamental health and safety issue.

“We continue to strengthen our approach at all of our sites and offices,” a spokesman said.

“Measures include mandatory company-wide training dedicated to respectful behaviours, improvements to facilities such as lighting, signage and CCTV coverage, increased security presence and stricter controls on alcohol consumption.

“Sexual assault or harassment is unacceptable at BHP, full stop.

“We are absolutely clear on this, and all employees, contractors and those that come to our sites are made aware of their obligation to support a safe and respectful workplace.

“Any allegation of sexual assault or harassment is investigated by an independent central investigations team, and we encourage people to report any incidents that occur to authorities.”

In the past year, BHP has established a “walk to room service” to escort people scared of returning to their donga.

Flyers at BHP sites read: “Residents and village staff can request to be accompanied to their rooms for different reasons. These include … if you feel uncomfortable for any reason while walking to your room.”

The miner is also planning to introduce alcohol restrictions in July, limiting workers to four drinks per day.

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