Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia on the mental health of FIFO workers in WA highlights the need for industry and government to take action.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union WA Branch (AMWU) State Secretary Steve McCartney said, this research is just more evidence for the State Government to act on all of the recommendations made in the 2014-2015 parliamentary inquiry into the impact of FIFO on mental health.
“This new report has confirmed what our members have been telling us for years. It found that more than a quarter of fly-in, fly-out workers from remote West Australian mining and construction sites report high levels of psychological distress,” he said.
“We’ve been fighting for changes within workplaces to ensure industry takes on more responsibility of the mental wellbeing of workers.
“The Government needs to listen to the facts and not the spin of industry.
“The steps that the Government has taken to implement the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry have been justified by this further research. What we need to see now is the implementation of all recommendations.
“Industry needs to take the next step and work with stakeholders, unions and local communities to deliver family friendly rosters, and better communications and peer support.
“What we desperately need is a guaranteed, mutually agreed on, return to work - for those who take time off for mental health issues – and approach it in the same way as workers compensation.
“The union would like to see suicides and attempts at accommodation camps be classed as workplace incidents, this is currently only the case if they occur on mine sites.
“This would ensure proper workplace investigations and make industry more accountable,” Mr McCartney said.