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FIFO mental health report reveals shocking statistics

Calls for mining industry to change

FIFO mental health report reveals shocking statistics Pixnio

A new report has found that a third of WA's fly in fly out work force experience psychological distress, with employers being called upon to make changes to combat mental health issues. 

The report makes 18 recommendations including changes to shifts and rosters to provide better down time, building on community connections, and providing permanent rooms on site.

Professor Sharon Parker, who conducted the research, said she hopes people take note of the findings and act to improve the current situation.

"FIFO workers are our brothers, our daughters, our sons, our friends, and we want to make sure they are OK and that they come home safe from harm," she said. 

The State Government is urging the mining industry to adopt the recommendations as it puts together it's own industry code of practice. 

Health Minister Roger Cook said it's ultimately the role of Government to instate laws if they don't see the changes needed to maintain a mentally healthy workplace. 

"It's a message to all of us, those in the industry, those working in our union movement and those in Government, that as a community we need to respond better to make sure we can protect the mental health of our FIFO workers," he said.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union has also weighed in, State Secretary Steve McCartney has called for a permanent solution. 

"What we have to do is make sure it's mandated as a code of practice that these people have to have family friendly rosters, they have to ensure they have good communication with their family and they have to make sure they have peer support on the job when they do have mental health issues - legislate it, yes, absolutely legislate it."

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Written by: @jordanpieterse

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