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Mining giant offers seven hour shifts, earlier start times

BHP Newman
File photo of BHP Newman

A resources multinational is willing to let employees do fewer hours as well as begin and finish work sooner.

BHP recently offered the option to decrease work hours at its Newman mine. Truck operators can also commence duties earlier than their colleagues to save time being stuck in heavy vehicle traffic.

“The Bamboo program offers … shifting from a 12.5-hour traditional mining shift to a seven hour one on an even time roster. Importantly, Bamboo employees are also entitled to company housing,” the company said in a public statement.

“Bamboo members strategically commence work 30 minutes before normal shift start times or during hot seating hours, thus operating equipment that would be ‘parked up’ for the end-of-shift and reducing shift change delays. As a result there has been a 6 per cent uplift in productivity over the past 12 months.”

Flexible work conditions are available in many different circumstances, including inexperienced jobseekers, primary carers, semi-retirees, Indigenous Australians and other disadvantaged groups.

BHP is now considering whether to expand flexible conditions to other sites.

“This flexibility provides a means of employment that is typically unseen in haul truck operations,” the proponent said.

“Our Bamboo program has the potential to be applied to work environments with a residential workforce, whether this be rural towns or capital cities, subject to operational requirements.”

Meanwhile, BHP recently revealed findings from its internal review into substandard employment conditions.

The employer discovered some management team members failed to identify, prevent and appropriately respond to sexual harassment, unlawful gender-based discrimination and their drivers.

“Leaders often feel unconfident or incapable of having these conversations, worrying that they will offend or retraumatise a worker who has previously been impacted by sexual harassment. As a result, safety conversations on sexual harassment prevention are not given the same priority as other physical safety hazards,” it said.

The following recommendations have been made for the existing global field leadership program:

  • ensure leaders understand changes, manage risks and ‘walk the talk’
  • field leadership resources and guides to specifically support sexual harassment controls
  • test sexual harassment critical control effectiveness through field leadership across global operating assets.

Click here to read the full findings.

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