UnionsWA has welcomed the release today by the McGowan Government of a Code of Practice for Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) work (available online here),
UnionsWA Assistant Secretary, Owen Whittle addressing media (2/4/19) on the FIFO code.
Owen Whittle, Assistant Secretary UnionsWA said:
“This code is a very significant and ground-breaking development.
“It is the first FIFO work health and safety code in Australia.
“It is fitting that WA should lead on this as so much of the burden of poor health resulting from FIFO work bears down on working West Australians and their families.
“That the code gives such clear guides to the poor mental health impacts that can result from poorly implemented FIFO work arrangement is important and constructive.
“Too often lazy governments and regulators have pulled back from expressing in plain English the actions that are needed to protect the mental health of FIFO workers.
“At last our courts and regulators have a how-to guide to punish poor practice and direct good outcomes.
“People are coming before profits.
“The code makes clear that for mental health to be protected, rosters need to be shorter, have a better balance between work and family time and that travel time is not rest time.
“On site, working people need their own, permanent place in which to live and rest after long shifts of work.
“The code also acknowledges that facilities on site need to provide adequate online and phone connections which enable working people to keep in regular and direct contact with loved ones.
“The resources sector in WA now has the opportunity to go from lagging to leading to ensure good mental health outcomes for FIFO workers.”