Challenges for the FIFO/DIDO workforce in the Australian construction industry: Impacts on health, safety and relationships

Biggs, Herbert, Wang, Xiangyu, Mohamed, Sherif, Colquhoun, Simon, & Dovan, Nathan (2016) Challenges for the FIFO/DIDO workforce in the Australian construction industry: Impacts on health, safety and relationships. In Prins, Matthijs, Wamelink, Hans, Giddings, Bob, Ku, Kihong, & Feenstra, Manon (Eds.) Proceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2016: Volume II - Environmental Opportunies and Challenges. Constructing Commitment and Acknowledging Human Experiences, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland, pp. 283-292.

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Since 2000, Australia has seen a large growth in the mineral, resource and infrastructure sectors, with operations expanding to rural and remote locations, leading to an increase in demand for personnel to work fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in, drive out (DIDO) rosters. Such models of work have become increasingly popular as it takes into account the relatively short lifespan of sites, and is considered more economical than building permanent accommodation or paying for rent, helping organisations remain economically competitive. While there are many organisational benefits to employing FIFO/DIDO rosters, there are frequently cited adverse effects on the workers themselves. The issues in employing these workforces are becoming more apparent, and include a range of physical, mental, psychosocial, safety and community challenges. The aims of this study were to: 1. Understand more clearly how employee family relationships are affected by the FIFO/DIDO working environment and investigating solutions. 2. Investigate the psychosocial health implications for employees in a FIFO/DIDO working environment and seeking recommendations for change. 3. Assess the impact of FIFO/DIDO travel on workplace health and safety incidents, and 4. Examine f rosters, shifts, work hours, job design and productivity demands as to how best design a safe, healthy and productive work environment for FIFO/DIDO employees. In conjunction with Australian government and industry partners, the projects agreed methodology consisted of four major phases. First, a desktop review was undertaken of the key documents including research literature and reports. Second, the information was used to help formulate a brief survey designed to examine psychosocial and organisational safety climate, rosters and shifts and integration of the frequently -used Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. Third, the review of literature also assisted in the development of semi-structured interview questions for the focus groups. The final phase was the analysis of the data and formulation of key recommendations. This paper addresses the research concerns and provides data and respondent commentary to more fully understand the mutual impacts on workplace health and safety and the personal and social relationships of this important workforce, and to explore strategies and actions that better meet the needs of employers, employees and their families.

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ID Code: 96290
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: construction health and safety, physical and mental health, social supports, work site communications, relationship maintenance
ISBN: 9789521537424
ISSN: 1797-8904
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 TUT – Tampere University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 Jun 2016 23:50
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2016 03:42

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