Mining industry misses opportunity to talk FIFO health

Mining industry misses opportunity to talk FIFO health

Wednesday 12 August 2015


The AMA (WA) has expressed disappointment that the annual Diggers and Dealers conference held in Kalgoorlie made no reference to the pressing issue of the health impacts of the FIFO lifestyle, especially mental health.


“The heads of our mining industry have missed a valuable opportunity to discuss the mental health crisis FIFO and shift-workers are facing, AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said.


Conference organisers informed the AMA (WA) that there had not been formal mention of FIFO health or the impact of mining on health generally.


“This is pressing issue that needs to be properly addressed, not ignored by the industry,” Dr Gannon said.


“Conference organisers have insisted that the conference was focusing on investment opportunities rather than other matters – but it would have been very appropriate to at least dedicate one presentation out of the three days on mental health.


“This is an issue that cannot be brushed under the carpet by the industry – mining companies need to take ownership of this problem and ensure their work-sites are as accommodating and stress-free as possible.


“The recent inquiry in the mental health of FIFO workers recommended the development of a code of practice to address FIFO workers’ wellbeing. This needs to be implemented as soon as possible,” Dr Gannon said.


“I note that there was emphasis on a wide range of awards across the mining industry during the Conference, but there was not one award, nor does there appear to be one mention of which company was acting above formal requirements on FIFO health.


“We would urge the sector to not attempt to sweep FIFO health, especially mental health, under the carpet.”


“Ignoring this issue will not make it go away. Ignoring this issue will only delay its impact across the sector.


“The mining sector is vital to our economic health as a nation. It is important that everyone realises the health of the workers in the sector are also key to continuing the success of the sector,” Dr Gannon said.

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