The Mines and Petroleum and Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister, Mr Bill Johnston, announced the release of an updated draft FIFO code of practice, which is aimed at promoting and maintain the mental health of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers in Australia.
In 2014 – 2015, research was carried out by Edith Cowan University, surveying 629 Australian FIFO workers from 143 different resource companies. The study found that over one-third (36 per cent) of participants experienced depression, anxiety and/or stress symptoms, this being more than twice the rate for the general population, and other studies have held similar findings.
The second draft of the ‘Mentally healthy workplaces for fly-in fly-out workers in the resources and construction sectors’ code attempts to address this matter and has now been released for further public comment following an initial round of consultation earlier in the year. In the first round of public comment, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) said they received up to 51 submissions from ‘a diverse range of respondents’.
The recently updated draft now includes a summary report which details feedback from the public and how their issues have now been addressed. The draft code of practice includes the implementation of appropriate controls, strategies and programs for intervention, recovery and promotion of wellbeing, and monitoring and review (e.g. statutory reporting), amongst a list of other frameworks to uphold FIFO worker’s mental health. According to Mr Johnston, the code of practice aims to reduce exposure to psychosocial hazards and risk factors for all workers, which should be appropriately managed by employers.
“While this code of practice targets FIFO workers in the resources and construction industries, its lessons can be applied across a range of sectors,” the Minister said, “the latest round of public consultation is another opportunity to ensure your voice is heard on the critical issue of mental health in the FIFO workforce.”
“The McGowan Government is committed to driving change in mental health and improving workplace health and safety for all Western Australians,” the Minister added.
Western Australians have until Friday, September 21, 2018, to comment on the second draft. More information on this can be accessed online here.