Healthier, Safer and Productive Workplaces
A Rural Business Tasmania Project
In January 2020, Rural Business Tasmania, in conjunction with Belinda Hazell TWiA (Tasmanian Women in Agriculture) were given a Tasmanian Government Grant to review existing bullying and harassment resources and initiatives nationally and to develop practical guidance tools specifically focused on rural workplaces to prevent, respond and reduce the harm sexual harassment and other forms of bullying and harassment have on rural workers.
The aim is to develop education and training initiatives to assist workers and employers in identifying, improving and promoting work health safety and wellbeing, including injury management, and preventing health hazards in the workplace.
A national survey conducted in 2018 found that 93% of women working in agriculture have been sexually harassed in some form. A survey conducted in 2019 by Tasmanian Women in Agriculture found that 3 out of 4 respondents had been sexually harassed in some form. Speaking up or remaining silent about workplace bullying and harassment are decisions faced by workers daily. SafeWork Australia reports that one in three women and one in five men who claim to have a mental disorder stated it involved bullying or harassment in the workplace. Australia’s rural sector has a culture of male dominance and isolation which increases the likelihood of bullying and harassment, particularly against women.
There is a lack of understanding of what sexual harassment, bullying, and harassment actions are, and how it should be treated and managed.
This project has developed practical guidance tools that are focussed on rural workplaces to prevent, respond and reduce the harm of sexual harassment and other forms of bullying and harassment. Using simple videos to call out bad behaviours, means that everyone has the ability to understand the messages.