Western Australia to receive new FIFO mental health code

In an Australian first, the Western Australian Government has launched a code of practice that focuses on promoting and maintaining mentally healthy workplaces for fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers in the resources and construction sectors.

The code aims to address hazards and risk factors in FIFO workplaces and encourages organisations to adopt a risk management process.

This includes identifying potential psychosocial hazards, establishing a positive and supportive workplace culture, providing suitable accommodations and rosters with sufficient time for rest and relaxation.

It was developed following extensive public consultation and created following recommendations from a Legislative Assembly Committee report on the impacts of FIFO practices on workers’ mental health.

Government funded research, released by the Western Australian Minister for Mental Health Roger Cook, found FIFO workers experience higher levels of psychological distress than non-FIFO workers.

“The code identifies a number of potential hazards and risk factors, such as work demands and low levels of control, and it promotes strategies to deal with these issues,” Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said.

“A positive, mentally healthy workplace not only benefits employees but also enhances an organisation’s reputation for supporting and respecting its workforce.

“The McGowan Government is committed to driving change in mental health and improving the wellbeing of FIFO workers and their families. It’s especially pleasing the Mining Industry Advisory Committee and Commission for Occupational Safety and Health unanimously endorsed the code.”