FIFOs have say on mental health
Fly-in, fly-out workers are encouraged to contribute to the State Government’s latest draft code of practice aimed to help promote and maintain FIFO workers’ mental health.
The second draft of the Mentally Healthy Workplaces for FIFO Workers in the Resources and Construction Sectors Code was released for further public comment yesterday, following a successful initial round of consultation earlier this year. WA Mines Minister Bill Johnston said in the first round of public comment, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety received 51 submissions from a diverse range of respondents.
He said the updated draft included a summary report detailing feedback from the public and how their issues were addressed.
Mr Johnston said while this code of practice targeted FIFO workers in the resources and construction industries, its lessons could be applied across a range of sectors.
“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,” he said.
“Our aim is to reduce exposure to psychosocial hazards and risk factors for all workers, which should be appropriately managed by employers.”
The code recognises that, as well as facing the stressors common to workplaces in general, people employed in FIFO work arrangements may face stressors specific to this work arrangement.
It uses a risk-assessment process to identify potential psychosocial hazards and factors, and helps protect mental health in the workplace, as well as identifying ways to manage and avoid the exacerbation of existing mental health concerns at work, and encourages positive mental health outcomes for all workers.
The code also acknowledges the importance of workplace culture in setting the tone for workplace relationships, as well as driving the allocation of resources to support effective implementation of preventative actions and interventions.
“Developing and endorsing workplace policies and procedures that align with a mentally healthy workplace formalises the organisation’s stance and may help reduce the stigma associated with mental ill health,” it says.
“Workplaces should have an overarching work health and safety policy that includes mental health and wellbeing.
“Meaningful action is necessary for the policy to be effective.”
West Australians have until Friday, September 21 to comment on the second draft.