WA’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston today launched Australia’s first mental health code of practice to help promote and maintain mentally healthy workplaces for FIFO workers in the resources and construction sectors. The code will focus on the management of hazards and risks as they apply to FIFO workers.
Developed following extensive public consultation, the ‘Mentally healthy workplaces for fly-in fly-out workers in the resources and construction sectors’ code aims to address hazards and risk factors in FIFO workplaces.
Minister Johnston said “The code identifies a number of potential hazards and risk factors, such as work demands and low levels of control, and it promotes strategies to deal with these issues.
“A positive, mentally healthy workplace not only benefits employees but also enhances an organisation’s reputation for supporting and respecting its workforce.
Parts of the code encourage organisations to adopt a risk management process to identify potential psychosocial hazards, establish a positive and supportive workplace culture, provide suitable accommodation and rosters with sufficient time for rest and recreation.
The code was created following recommendations from a Legislative Assembly Committee report on the impact of FIFO practices on workers’ mental health.
Government-funded research, released by the Minister for Mental Health last year, found FIFO workers experience higher levels of psychological distress than non-FIFO workers.
The code of practice provides guidance on creating and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace through:
- providing an environment that promotes good health and wellbeing;
- the application of a risk management process to avoid or minimise the harm from psychosocial hazards and risk factors and develop a mentally healthy workplace;
- developing response strategies (intervention) for workers when there are concerns regarding work-related stress or exposure to psychosocial hazards and risk factors;
- providing an environment that supports recovery.
It applies to workplaces in Western Australia that utilise fly-in fly-out (FIFO) work arrangements. This includes:
- resources operations (minerals and petroleum sectors) that are engaged in activities such as exploration, construction, mining or processing, or support such activities (e.g. drilling contractors, facilities management)
- construction work not related to resources operations.
To view the code, visit http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Safety/Codes-of-practice-16145.aspx
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