MENTAL HEALTH —
FLY IN, FLY OUT CODE
312. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the minister representing the
Minister for Mines and Petroleum:
I refer to the recently released Western
Australian code of practice to help promote and maintain healthy workplaces for
fly in, fly out workers in the resources and construction industries.
that this code of practice is not regulation, how does the government intend to
ensure that the code is adopted?
(2) Does the government intend to
track employer breaches of this code of practice?
(3) If yes to
(2), how does the government intend to track all reports or psychosocial
hazards, considering that types of reporting can include text messages and
verbal discussions, and can be addressed either formally or informally?
(4) Through the
release of this code of practice, does the government admit that if workers
lived in the regions, it would in fact alleviate the psychosocial hazards
brought on by FIFO work?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question.
I know that she knows a lot about fly in, fly out work. The following
information has been provided to me by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety will continue to be the
regulator. The McGowan government has worked with unions and employers through
the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health and the Mining Industry
Advisory Committee, and we hope to work with them in the future to ensure that
the code creates a positive outcome. We believe that this Australian-first code
sets a benchmark for good practice and is the right step forward. Codes of
practice are admissible in court proceedings. Courts may regard a code of
practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control, and may
rely on the code of practice in determining what is reasonably practicable in
the circumstances related to the code.
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety will act and keep records
of reported failures to apply the code and comply with related legislation.
(3) Employers and
management have the primary duty to provide and maintain a working environment
in which employees are not exposed to hazards. The code of practice provides advice
and information about the standards of occupational safety and health required
government expects employers to provide a genuine choice to production staff
about whether they want to do FIFO. Production workers should be able to choose
between residential and FIFO work arrangements, and should be able to do FIFO
from regional centres if that suits their personal situation.