Preliminary findings on the health and well-being of the long distance commuting workforce in the Australian resources industry

Kirsch, P. A., Harris, J., Shi, M., Arend, S, Barclay, M. A., Everingham, J. and Kim, J (2013). Preliminary findings on the health and well-being of the long distance commuting workforce in the Australian resources industry. In: 23rd World Mining Congress 2013 Proceedings. 23rd World Mining Congress, Montreal, Canada, (203-211). 11-15 August 2013.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Kirsch, P. A.
Harris, J.
Shi, M.
Arend, S
Barclay, M. A.
Everingham, J.
Kim, J
Title of paper Preliminary findings on the health and well-being of the long distance commuting workforce in the Australian resources industry
Conference name 23rd World Mining Congress
Conference location Montreal, Canada
Conference dates 11-15 August 2013
Proceedings title 23rd World Mining Congress 2013 Proceedings
Journal name Canadian Institute of Mining
Place of Publication Montreal, Canada
Publisher Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781926872155
ISSN 0826-6166
Volume 5
Issue 3
Start page 203
End page 211
Total pages 12
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Mineral resource development activities impact the health and well-being of many people, from workers, to families and surrounding communities. In the decade up to 2010, mining revenues increased from 6% to 14% of Australian GDP, and minerals contributed 55% of total exports, with a growth in mining employment from 1% to 1.7% of the national workforce (Connolly and Orsmund, 2011). The growth in Australia’s minerals operations is mostly located in remote areas, or in rural communities with a limited population. As a result, operations have increasingly implemented long distance commuting (LDC) programs, often called ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) and ‘drive-in, drive-out’ (DIDO), as a staffing strategy to meet rapid industry growth in locations with limited local populations.

The rapid expansion of the minerals industry has resulted in considerable public debate about the benefits and costs to all sectors of Australian society. In response to the concerns of constituencies from many parts of Australia, the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, The Hon Simon Crean MP, asked the House Standing Committee on Regional Australia on Tuesday 23 August 2011 to inquire into and report on the use of ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) and ‘drive-in, drive-out’ (DIDO) workforce practices in Regional Australia. The recently published report highlights the national interest and the diverse opinions about this practice in Australia.

Resource extraction companies have developed several options to meet the accommodation requirements of their long distance commuting workforce. In this paper, initial results are reported from an ongoing survey of FIFO (and other non-residential) resource industry workers (n=286) in the Australian resource extraction industries. The purpose of this study was to better understand how accommodation arrangements may impact on the health, wellbeing and job satisfaction of non-resident workers; and to attempt to find a relationship between different accommodation variables and workforce wellbeing and retention. In doing this it investigates evidence for the linkage between accommodation factors, hours of work, health, well-being, job satisfaction and job retention in the LDC work force.
Keyword Long distance commuting
Job retention
FIFO enquiry
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Thu, 10 Oct 2013, 15:35:08 EST by Philipp Kirsch on behalf of Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre