A Literature Review of Wellness, Wellbeing and Quality of Life Issues as they impact upon the Australian Mining Sector

Carrington, Kerry & McIntosh, Alison (2013) A Literature Review of Wellness, Wellbeing and Quality of Life Issues as they impact upon the Australian Mining Sector. Crime and Justice Research Centre, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.


Australia’s mining boom Global demand for minerals and energy products has fuelled Australia’s recent resources boom and has led to the rapid expansion of mining projects not only in remote locations but increasingly in settled traditionally agricultural rural areas. A fundamental shift has also occurred in the provisioning of skilled and semi-skilled workers. The huge acceleration in industry demand for labour has been accompanied by the entrenchment of workforce arrangements largely dependent on fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and drive–in, drive–out (DIDO) non-resident workers (NRWs). While NRWs are working away from their homes, they are usually accommodated in work camps or ‘villages’ for the duration of their work cycle which are normally comprised of many consecutive days of 12-hour day- and night-shifts. The health effects of this form of employment and the accompanying lifestyle is increasingly becoming contentious. Impacts on personal wellness, wellbeing and quality of life essentially remain under-researched and thus misunderstood.

Sodexo in Australia Sodexo began operations in Australia in 1982, and has since become a leader in providing Quality of Life (QOL) services to businesses across the country. The 6,000 Australian employees are part of a global Sodexo team of 413,000 people. Sodexo in Australia designs, delivers and manages on-site their QOL services at 320 diverse site locations, including remote sites. Sodexo operates in a range of sectors, including the mining industry. Service plans are tailored to suit the individual needs of organisations.

Sodexo Remote Sites has previously conducted unpublished research among mining workers in Australia. The results highlighted needs and expectations of Australian mining workers. Main insights about workers’ requirements were directed towards:

• contacts with closest; • warm rest time around proper and varied meals; • additional services to help them better enjoy their life onsite and/or make the most of it; • organise their transportation; • promote community living; and • finding balance between professional and personal life.

The brief for this current research is aimed at building upon this knowledge.

Research brief Expectations for quality of life and wellness and wellbeing services are increasing dramatically. It's getting costlier and more difficult to retain valuable employees. This is particularly the case in the Australian mining sector. Given the level of interest in ensuring healthy workplaces in Australia, Sodexo has commissioned QUT to conduct a literature review. The objectives as specified by Sodexo are:

Objective 1: To define the concepts of wellness and wellbeing and quality of life in Australia

Objective 2: To examine how wellness and wellbeing are developed within organisations in Australia and how they impact on employee and organizational performance. More specifically, to review the literature that could be sourced about:

• challenges of the mining environment; • the mining lifestyle – implications for health, wellness and daily life; • personal health and wellness of Australian mining workers; • factors affecting health in mines and perceived support for health and wellness; and • the impact of employer investment in health on perceptions and behaviour of employees.

Objective 3: To determine what impact employee wellness and well-being has on the performance of mining workers. More specifically, to review the literature that could be sourced about:

• impact of obesity, alcohol, tobacco use on companies; and • links between employee engagement and satisfaction and company productivity.

Accordingly this review has attempted to ascertain what factors an organisation should focus on in order to reduce absenteeism and turnover and increase commitment, satisfaction, safety and productivity, with specific reference to the mining industry in Australia.

The structure of the report aligns with the stated objectives in that each of the first three parts address an objective. Part IV summarises prominent issues that have arisen and offers some concluding observations and comments.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

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ID Code: 66724
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional Information: This report was funded by Sodexo Well Track Program
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Mining Industry, Wellness Programs, Risks to miners wellbeing, FIFO impacts, Social Organisation of labour
ISBN: 9780987467829
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > OTHER LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (189900) > Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified (189999)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Kerry Carrington and Alison McIntosh
Copyright Statement: The right of Kerry Carrington and Alison McIntosh to be identified as the authors of this report is asserted by them in accordance with Copyright (Moral Rights) Amendment Act 2000. The work is copyright and protected under the Act.
Deposited On: 29 Jan 2014 00:59
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2014 09:55

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