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More research on how fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) work affects mental health has been recommended by a Queensland parliamentary report.

“While the exact prevalence of mental health conditions in FIFO workers is currently unknown, there is a clear recognition that there are a range of general workplace stress factors and specific aspects of the FIFO role that may put workers, their families and communities at risk for mental health problems,” the report stated.

According to the report, some of these factors and aspects include the following: separation from family and friends, transitioning between home and work life and the disruption to family life, maintaining regular meaningful communication with family and friends, and fatigue.

The report recommends the Queensland Minister for State Development, in consultation with the Office of Industrial Relations and Queensland Mental Health Commission, undertake additional mental health research.

Among the issues to be researched, the report suggests examining the resilience of FIFO workers, workplace programs or external programs to prevent mental health injuries in FIFO workers, family support programs, and suicide risk and protective factors.

Meanwhile the Western Australian (WA) Government has responded to the findings of a WA parliamentary report into the impact of FIFO work on the mental health of workers in the resources industry.

“We will now work with the Mining Industry Advisory Committee (MIAC) and the Mental Health Commission to address the report’s recommendations,” WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion said in a media statement.

The WA Government welcomed the report’s recommended focus on improving the understanding of the complex factors that contribute to mental illness and suicide risk among workers.

The WA Government is also looking at changing existing codes of practice in response, and addressing some of the recommendations in the WA Work Health and Safety (Resources) Bill.

For more details, visit the Queensland parliamentary report and the WA response

Published on 22 October 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today.

In partnership with NSCA Foundation, Ansell invite safety professionals to take part in a first-time survey to better understand and benchmark hand safety performance and improvement trends in Australia.

The survey will be conducted by independent market research company, Australian Marketing Research (AMR) during September 2015. AMR will conduct the survey via personal telephone interview, taking approximately 15 minutes, and scheduled at a time convenient to you. Should you be selected AMR will be in contact to discuss your availability to participate.

Start the survey now

AMR will only use the information you provide for the research purposes of this survey. Any feedback you provide will not be identified as coming from you unless you authorise it. All responses will be aggregated and summarised to protect confidentiality while ensuring valuable and instructive information is provided. For more information on how AMR collect, use, hold and disclose personal information, please see AMR’s privacy policy.

We hope that you agree to take part in this study and thank you for taking the time to consider our request.

Jamie Burrage | General Manager, NSCA Foundation
Dean Clark | Marketing Manager, Industrial & single Use ANZ, Ansell Healthcare

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Young workers’ presenteeism costs more than their absenteeism.

The finding is part of a Safe Work Australia study about 23-year-old workers, ‘Work Productivity Loss in Young Workers’.

According to the study, an average of 302 hours per worker, per year, is lost due to presenteeism. This costs $10,674 per worker, per year.

By comparison, the average hours lost per worker due to absenteeism from health-related causes is 53 hours per year. In addition, 175 hours per year is lost due to absenteeism attributed to any reasons other than ill health or vacations.

Absenteeism due to ill health costs an average of $1899 per worker, per year, while absenteeism due to any other reason costs $6198 per worker, per year.

The combined cost of presenteeism and absenteeism is estimated at $18,836 per worker, per year.

For more details, visit the report

Published on 30 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

A high proportion of employers are reacting to, rather than proactively looking for, failures, according to a new report.

The results are part of the recently released ‘Mindfulness of work health and safety in the workplace’ study conducted by Safe Work Australia.

The study says 87 per cent of employers agree that when something unexpected occurs in the workplace, they always try to work out why things didn’t go as planned. However, only 65 per cent of employers actively look for failures to understand them, the study adds.

When it comes to reporting bad news, only 37 per cent of employers go searching for it. Nevertheless, 87 per cent of employers agree that workers are encouraged to report significant mistakes. But only 35 per cent of employers agree that workers are rewarded for spotting potential problems, the study adds.

For more details, visit the study

Published on 30 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

The preliminary findings of a NSW Government workers compensation survey reveal a lack of support for workers.

The findings are part of a survey of injured workers’ experiences in the NSW workers compensation system.

A lack of case management support and access to quality information are the main problems, said NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet in a media statement.

“While some injured workers have had positive experiences, we can see many are concerned about better information and timely communication, financial support for medical services and retraining, and being supported by their employer and insurer,” Perrottet said.

The full results of the survey will be released in August.

For more details, visit the Minister’s statement and the government’s ‘what workers think’ video

Published on 30 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.


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