Sexual assault and sexual harassment information for the resources industry
Sexual assault or sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable and must not be tolerated anywhere, including in our workplaces. Resources Safety & Health Queensland (RSHQ) works with industry to manage the risks of people being subjected to unacceptable workplace behaviour, such as sexual assault and sexual harassment, as part of our responsibilities to worker safety and health.
Resources sector workers can make a confidential complaint to RSHQ regarding sexual assault or sexual harassment. Find out how to make a complaint below.
Defining sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is a psychosocial hazard that includes any unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in circumstances where a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would anticipate the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.
Behaviours that may indicate sexual harassment are not always obvious, repeated or continuous and may include:
- unwelcome touching or physical contact, including hugging, cornering and kissing
- suggestive comments or jokes, insults or taunts
- unwanted invitations to go on dates or requests for sex in person and/or online
- sending or displaying sexually offensive pictures or posters
- sending sexually explicit emails, text messages or online interactions such as social media posts.
Sexual harassment can occur in any work location or accommodation, at work-related events, or by phone, email or online. Read more about sexual harassment from the Queensland Human Rights Commission.
How to seek help
Seek immediate assistance if you have been assaulted.
If you are in immediate danger or your health and wellbeing has been threatened, contact the police (phone 000) and seek medical advice.
For further advice, read the Queensland Police Service's information on adult sexual assault.
Reporting to RSHQ
Contact RSHQ to report sexual assault and harassment, if you:
- work at a Queensland mine, quarry, petroleum or gas operating plant
- have experienced sexual harassment or assault
- are unable to report it in your workplace because you're concerned for your health and safety, or there is no procedure
- have made a report to your workplace and there has been no action, or you believe that the action taken was inappropriate.
To make a confidential complaint to RSHQ about sexual assault or harassment:
- complete the complaint form (PDF, 884KB) and email the completed form to email@example.com
- phone 1300 581 077 between 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
If you wish to make a confidential complaint to RSHQ about other safety and health matters, read more information about the process.
Advice and support
The following organisations provide advice and assistance:
- Workplace Health and Safety Queensland can be contacted about complaints related to off-site workplaces.
- The Queensland Human Rights Commission can conciliate sexual harassment complaints, and other forms of harassment or discrimination covered by anti-discrimination laws.
- The Fair Work Commission has information for workers who may have experienced sexual harassment, and how to apply for orders to have sexual harassment stopped.
Contact these support services about sexual assault or harassment in the workplace:
- Queensland Government – Sexual abuse and assault: getting help
- 1800RESPECT – National Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Counselling Service: Phone 1800 737 732 or you can chat online
- Queensland Police Service – Support services and information
- Workers' Psychological Support Service (WPSS) – free and independent support service for Queensland workers experiencing a work-related psychological injury. Phone WPSS on 1800 370 732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Australian Government – Respect@Work.
Advice for employers managing workplace sexual harassment risks
Sexual harassment is against the law and is prohibited under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. Queensland's resources safety and health legislation requires employers to manage the risk of workers suffering an injury or illness, including physical and psychological health harms from sexual harassment.
Use this guidance material and information to help manage sexual harassment risks in the workplace:
- Safe Work Australia – Workplace sexual harassment
- Minerals Council of Australia – Respect@Work Toolkit (PDF, 1.45MB)
- Australian Human Rights Commission – Employers – Preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment
- Queensland Human Rights Commission – Employers' toolkit (PDF, 1.45MB)
- Australian Government – Respect@Work.
- Read more about managing psychosocial hazards in Queensland's resources industries.
- Last reviewed: 26 Aug 2022
- Last updated: 25 Nov 2022