New research finds a third of FIFO workers experience high levels of psychological distress


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Fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers experience high levels of psychological distress compared to non-FIFO workers, a new report has found.

The report found a third, 33 per cent of FIFO workers, experience high levels of psychological distress compared to only 17 per cent of non-FIFO workers.

The research report, Impact of FIFO work arrangements on the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers is one of the most comprehensive FIFO research studies undertaken in Australia.

More than 3,000 FIFO workers and their families participated in the research funded by the WA government and driven in partnership with industry, unions, and researchers from Curtin University’s Centre of Transformative Work Design.

According to the report, many FIFO workers already use a wide range of positive strategies to manage their mental health including maintaining regular communication with family and friends while on-site, and seeking mental health support when needed.

The report made 18 recommendations including rosters and shift patterns that provide better rest time, permanent rooms at accommodation sites and building local community connections.

“This research was undertaken in response to calls from family members and recommendations from the Education and Health Standing Committee inquiry into FIFO work arrangements,”  Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said.

“The inquiry was initiated due to reports of a number of deaths by suicide by FIFO workers.

“The McGowan Government listened to families and the wider community and agreed that more needed to be done, which is why we commissioned this research.

“We hope the industry, unions and FIFO workers themselves will adopt the report recommendations, on-site, and at home, to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of all FIFO workers and their families.”

For a full copy of the report, visit

One thought on “New research finds a third of FIFO workers experience high levels of psychological distress

  1. It’s very easy to blame FIFO for mental health issues, family breakdown, etc etc, but, as I always say to people coming into the industry, and at every induction I run, no one forces you to be here, if it’s not working for you and your family, don’t stay. The money earnt is not worth putting your family at risk.
    There has been some wonderful programs and awareness raised regarding mental health in recent years, but blaming the industry, or the FIFO lifestyle is a cop out.
    A wholistic view must be taken, not the blaming of the FIFO industry.
    When people accept a position surely trhey ask what the roster is, what the hours are and so on. They give it a go and instead of realising it’s not for them, complain about rosters etc. If you don’t like a pair of shoes, or they don’t fit, you don’t keep wearing them do you?
    I have been FIFO for over 20 years. I have dealt with suicides, death and helped people through some tough times. The industry suits me though, if it didn’t, i wouldn’t be here.

    Life is about choices, no one has “No Choice” .

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