WorkSafe and Fortescue agree to Enforceable Undertaking

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Employee / workerEmployer

WorkSafe’s prosecution of Fortescue over failing to supply documents and answer questions is to be discontinued, with an Enforceable Undertaking agreed to by both parties.

Acting WorkSafe Commissioner Sally North has accepted an undertaking by Fortescue to deliver wide-ranging strategies to address inappropriate workplace behaviours in the mining industry.

An Enforceable Undertaking is an alternative to prosecution, but it is not an admission or finding of guilt.

The undertaking includes measures aimed at the education and performance of contract workers as well as enhancing positive culture at the executive level of mining companies.

“Fortescue has committed to spend more than $1.4 million in the first Enforceable Undertaking entered into under the State’s Work Health and Safety legislation,” Ms North said.

“This is a substantial investment in improving industry capability and I firmly believe that this agreement is in the best interests of workers across the mining sector.

“Fortescue’s investment is well above the fine that could be expected if it was convicted of the underlying charges.”

The money Fortescue must spend is to be applied to a number of projects and programs aligned with certain recommendations of the “Enough is Enough” report, published following the Parliamentary Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Mining Industry.

The benefits of these initiatives will not be confined to Fortescue – they must be made available throughout the mining industry and are expected to have widespread positive outcomes for Western Australian workers.

Ms North said the prosecution alleged that Fortescue had failed to comply with an inspector’s request for documents using the powers conferred by the Work Health and Safety Act 2020.

“WorkSafe will monitor the progress of the undertaking by meeting with Fortescue on a quarterly basis, and further action will be taken if the undertaking is not delivered.”

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media queries only).

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Further information

Media release
18 Dec 2023

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