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FIFO impact to be studied

A Perth university will conduct a new study to understand workplace factors that impact the mental health of fly-in, fly-out workers and their families.
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A new study will seek positive strategies to deal with FIFO work. Image: iStock.com/Thomas-Soeliner

Staff reporter

The government-funded research is being done in response to concerns raised by families and recommendations from the Education and Health Standing Committee on FIFO mental health.

The University of Western Australia's Centre for Transformative Work Design will conduct the study to find positive strategies people used as a buffer against potential FIFO challenges.

The centre said it recognised that FIFO work could have positive and negative effects but what was not well understood was the specific workplace factors that affected FIFO workers' wellbeing and mental health.

The WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy has long said FIFO employment was critical to maintaining a viable resources workforce and enabled a greater work-life balance.

In announcing almost A$500,000 (US$390,000) for the study this week, WA Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said the state had a large FIFO workforce and it was important to determine factors and strategies to address the sector's mental health and wellbeing.

On the other side of Australia, Queensland recently legislated a ban on future 100% FIFO workforces on large resource projects near regional communities.

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