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Alcohol guidelines in place for WA mining sites

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The WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) and its member companies have announced the implementation of industry-wide guidelines for alcohol consumption at on-site lodging facilities.

The Safe and Respectful Behaviours – Industry Alcohol Guideline lays out a set of management and education requirements for how alcohol consumption at lodging facilities should be handled. This adds to the drug and alcohol policies already in place in industry workplaces, while also taking into account work-adjacent environments.

The guideline reflected the WA mining and resources sector’s long-standing commitment to best practise for both physical and psychological safety in the workplace, according to CME Director of Policy and Advocacy Rob Carruthers.

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“This guideline marks a watershed moment in our industry’s efforts to be as safe as possible at all times,” he said.

“Several CME member companies have implemented their own alcohol limits in recent years. But it’s also critical that there’s industry-wide guidance that can be implemented at any location, encouraging healthy habits and a moderation culture.

“Crucially, the guideline incorporates not only CME member companies’ experience working with alcohol, but also 360Edge’s input as independent drug and alcohol experts.”

“360Edge was able to provide invaluable advice on what best practise in alcohol consumption should look like for WA mining and resources operations thanks to their expertise across a range of sectors.”

“Events in the last 18 months, including the ongoing Parliamentary Inquiry into sexual harassment against women in the FIFO mining industry, have strengthened our resolve to provide safe and inclusive workplaces for the sector’s 156,000+ employees.”

“This industry standard is another step in a process centred on continuous improvement.”

Over the last six months, CME’s Safe and Respectful Behaviours Working Group has focused on developing the Industry Alcohol Guideline. The guidelines state:

Implementation of a four-drink limit per 24-hour period for all accommodation residents, including takeaway restrictions
Alcohol served in a way that encourages rapid consumption, such as shots or double-servings, is prohibited.
Assuring the availability of a variety of drink strength operations at lodging facilities, such as low and medium-strength beverages

Ensure the availability of non-alcoholic beverage options, such as 0% beer, carbonated beverages, and freely available water
Ensure that food options, such as snacks or hot food, are available wherever alcohol is served.
Promoting a culture of moderation and healthy eating habits.
Residents are being educated about the alcohol policy in lodging facilities.
Implementation of educational materials to inform residents of lodging facilities about the negative consequences of alcohol consumption.
Carruthers stated that the CME would work with member companies on the implementation of the Industry Alcohol Guideline in the coming months.

“While broad-scale implementation of the guideline will take time, it demonstrates a clear industry-wide commitment to raise standards,” he said.

“Some CME member companies have already taken the lead by adopting elements of the guideline, and those who can put it into practise right away will do so.”

“CME has over 75 member operating companies in Western Australia that run operations of all shapes and sizes, and some of them may not be in a logistical position to immediately implement the guideline.”

“We’re also pleased that the guideline is available for operations that aren’t covered by the CME.”

“The ultimate goal of the guideline is to assist WA mining and resources in achieving positive safety and inclusion goals, and we will gladly share it and the research that went into it with other advocacy groups in the sector.”

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