A mining giant increased management remuneration following multiple employee fatalities.
BHP confirmed it would increase Mike Henry’s base salary and the chief executive’s stake in the business after two workers died.
Yard technician Jody Byrne passed away from a train accident at the Boodarie rail yard on 7 February 2023, while a light vehicle fatally struck fitter Nathan Scholz near the Olympic Dam mine on April 25.
These incidents occurred within the space of just 11 weeks. BHP had earlier celebrated four years without a workplace fatality in its operational review for the year ending on 31 December 2022.
Nevertheless, 96.8 per cent of shareholders still voted to adopt the remuneration report, increasing the CEO’s base salary by 4 per cent to US$1.81 million (A$2.8M). An additional 97.8 per cent of them approved equity grants that award the CEO rights to acquire both cash and deferred plan, and long-term incentive plan, shares.
Henry thanked everyone for the pay rise, promising to improve employment conditions.
“2023 was a difficult year from a safety perspective for the company. Tragically two of our colleagues lost their lives while on the job,” he said at the annual general meeting (AGM).
“Our thoughts remain with their families, friends and colleagues. These events underscore the absolute importance of safety first. We remain resolute in our commitment to eliminating fatalities and serious injuries across BHP.”
Chair Ken Mackenzie claimed the proponent would not only reduce deaths and injuries but also target anti-social behaviour.
“We are continuing to drive our safety culture to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries. This safety culture goes beyond operational safety and includes addressing sexual harassment, racism and bullying in our workplace,” he said at the AGM.
“We still have more work to do but we are making progress on our commitment to provide a safe, inclusive workplace culture where everyone can bring the best of themselves to work.”