FLY IN, FLY OUT WORKERS —
MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION REPORT
533. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the parliamentary secretary
representing the Minister for Mental Health:
I refer to an article published in
the North West Telegraph of 22 May 2019 with the headline ''Seven-step
FIFO lifeline'' and which makes reference to the ''Impact of FIFO
Work Arrangements on the Mental Health and Well-being of FIFO Workers''
report handed down by the Mental Health Commission in September 2018.
(1) Which, if
any, of the 18 recommendations made in the report have the government adopted
(2) What does the
government intend to do to mitigate the increased risks around drug and alcohol
misuse that the FIFO workforce often demonstrates?
(3) Does the
government accept that the FIFO lifestyle is detrimental for workers'
mental health and that steps should be taken to move towards residential
workforces wherever practical?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1) There are 18
recommendations from the report, including rosters and shift patterns that
provide better rest time, permanent rooms at accommodation sites and building
local community connections. The 18 recommendations in the report require
action by the mining and construction industry, unions and individuals working
in the fly in, fly out sector. The minister encourages the implementation of
the recommendations, which aim to help improve the mental health and wellbeing
of the FIFO workforce, by relevant organisations. The recommendations
complement the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety code of
practice, ''Mentally Healthy Workplaces for FIFO Workers in the
Resources and Construction Sectors'', which was in part informed by the
research and was released on 2 April 2019. The code of practice provides
guidance on creating and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace for
workplaces in Western Australia that utilise FIFO work arrangements.
(2) The code
of practice recognises the misuse of alcohol or other drugs as being a psychosocial
hazard or risk factor for poor mental health outcomes. The misuse of AOD is a whole-of-community
issue, which includes the FIFO workforce, and government is working to address
this through the implementation of various demand, supply and harm reduction
government accepts the findings from the research and subsequent report, ''Impact
of FIFO Work Arrangements on the Mental Health and Well-being of FIFO Workers''.
The government also encourages the implementation of strategies that align with
the code of practice and that aim to address hazards and risk factors for the