Luka Kauzlaric

FIFO: Is the pay really worth all the stress?

FIFO workers are bogged down with relationship problems, battling high levels of stress and are concerned by the stigma of mental health, according to a new study.

The research found FIFO workers missed the every day things experienced by workers who come home every night.

More than 25 per cent of fly-in, fly-out workers rated their psychological stress as high or very high, compared with just 10.8 per cent of the general population, according to research by the Medical Journal of Australia.

The study, backed by Edith Cowan University, followed a spate of suicides at remote mining and resource projects.

It found 40 per cent of respondents also rated the stigma of mental health to be a stressful issue for them, which researchers said was alarming.

"The strongest predictor of psychological distress overall was fear of stigmatisation for mental health problems. Workers who reported being stressed by this factor were 20 times as likely to have high or very high levels of distress values,'' the researchers wrote.

The study of 1124 workers at 10 mining sites found the big stress issues were missing special events (86 per cent), relationship problems with partners (68 per cent), financial stress (62 per cent), shift rosters (62 per cent), and social isolation (60 per cent).

Workers in the child-rearing ages of 25 to 34 were three times more likely to have mental health issues particularly if they were on two weeks on, one week off rosters.



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