AMSJ » FIFO workers should look out for each other and ask R U OK?

FIFO workers should look out for each other and ask R U OK?

R U OKFIFO workers in the mines are being asked to look out for each other during long rosters by suicide-prevention organisation R U OK?

The new R U OK? Afield campaign targeting workmates in FIFO and drive in drive out industries is supported by key NRL and AFL players. The campaign uses images of players from opposing sides offering support to one another; reinforcing the message that you don’t have to be best mates to offer support when it’s needed.

General Manager Brendan Maher said that reducing the 2,400 suicide deaths in Australia starts with regular, meaningful conversations between people coping with demanding and stressful situations.

“As fly-in fly-out or drive-in drive-out practices become more common, more workers are being separated from their family and friend support networks,” Brendan said. “We need these Australians to step up and look out for each other because it’s one of the best ways to cope with life’s ups and downs when away from home.”

Ms Mitchell said this campaign is a vital step towards normalising conversations in male-dominated industries.

“Men are three times more likely than women to take their own life and we need to help men support one another,” she said. “Workmates are in a unique position to identify when someone’s withdrawing or out of sorts and ask them how they’re going.”

The Afield campaign is supported by the global helicopter transportation company,  Bristow, and Human Resources Manager of the Australian Operations Keir Williams said that business leaders have an obligation to foster working environments that encourage these conversations.

“We need to challenge the idea that people need to maintain a tough exterior and we can do that by encouraging all staff to help workmate’s open up about life’s troubles,” Keir said. “This will also support existing the work carried out by employee assistance programs and human resource managers to create resilient and safe workplaces.”

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AMSJ April 2022