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Trigger Alert……The following article may cause distress to some readers.

I’m a bit angry while writing this newsletter, And I might upset a few people by saying what I’m about to say….. But I’m going to say it!

We need to do something about FIFO Rosters. Four and One is killing people! I read today that another worker committed suicide on a FIFO site.

As someone who spends time away from their family and their home I know how difficult it can be. I’ve had my kids ring me when I’m on the other side of the country crying to me and asking me to come home. I’ve had my wife ring me and ask how to start the lawn mower or that there is a Bat flying around the house and she is locking herself in the bedroom until it dies!!!
I’ve also been away when I’ve felt down or lonely and just need company but all I have is the room I’m in with a single bed, a TV and a fridge that makes a horrible noise all night!
It’s not normal to be away from your family and “Comfort” zone for long periods of time. And I personally don’t believe that companies are doing enough to support FIFO workers that are struggling with it.

There has to be better ways to deal with FIFO, and there has to be more support from employers. I personally could not cope with more than a two week roster, that is more than enough time to be away from family and friends. And one week on and one week off or any other “Even time” roster would be better.
I have worked with companies that run an even time roster, they are happier, more productive, more positive and safer workplaces.

I have also been to sites that run an EAP or an Employee Assistance Program. The problem with this is that most people don’t use them! And when I ask why the answer I get is “The company pays for it.”
Now I know that the EAP providers do a great job, but you won’t get people to use them if they think there is even a slight chance that it will get back to the employer.

One of the other things that I have seen that I believe is a good idea is a Chaplain on site full time. Now I’m not a religious person, but the fact that this site had a chaplain that was on site and available 24/7 would be comforting to some people.

Look I’m just venting my frustration at this. These are only a few of my thoughts and views. Surely we have much smarter people than me that can get together and work this shit out because I believe it is going to get worse and more people will suffer!

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Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636


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fifo, james wood, , safety
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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Tap into Safety
    June 23, 2017 2:15 am

    Thanks for sharing and you’re right more can be done and the key to this is insightful data on staff segments to determine their level of stress, anxiety and depression and to teach them strategies to help them cope and at the same time make it easier to talk with someone about their needs within a supportive culture. All of Me understands the issues and is a tool that can help business to empower staff, and provide better support for them, please take a look at


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