05:36 pm, Tuesday 2 March, 2010
WorkSafe WA has turned its attention to the increasing number of work hours among employees on the Gorgon gas project.
The safety agency says fly-in-fly-out semiskilled workers and tradesmen in Pilbara, which has agreed to 70-hour work weeks, could be more vulnerable to risks.
Under the new agreement, workers will work 70 hours per week in exchange for an annual $150,000 wage and 9-day breaks every 26 days.
Worksafe Commissioner Nina Lyhne warns the long hours could lead to fatigue.
“It’s very difficult to draw a line in the sand and say this does or doesn’t comply,” she said.
“I would say that 70 hours a week certainly sounds like it’s at the higher end of the scale, and there would be cause for concern if there weren’t appropriate arrangements in place for adequate breaks and those sorts of things.
“So, I think it’s a good opportunity to remind companies that there is a code of practice for working hours in place in Western Australia, and it’s important they take that into consideration.”