The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia has released a Mental Health Blueprint for WA miners.
“To assist industry on its journey of continuous improvement, CME’s Mental Health Blueprint is based on a document developed by the Minerals Council of Australia tailored to suit the Western Australian resource industry context,” CMEWA stated.
It comes on the back of a massive inquest and report into miners – particularly FIFO workers – mental health.
The final report was tabled in June, with a number recommendations arising from the inquiry.
One of the major developments was that the Attorney General provide funding to the Coroner’s Court of WA to develop and implement a searchable database for recording and monitoring trends in reportable deaths in WA.
If implemented the measure will not only serve to keep accurate records of when and how FIFO workers have died of unnatural causes, but will also benefit other industries which require monitoring, including the disturbing trend of suicides among paramedics.
However out of the 30 recommendations in the report, perhaps the most important one calls for a new industry code of practice for FIFO work arrangements.
Inquiry chairman Dr Graham Jacobs MLA said the high risk demographic and higher incidence of mental distress among the FIFO group led to the decision to recommend development of a code of practice, one which can provide guidance on best practice for sites and remote camps, and promote improved mental and emotional health in workforces.
The CMEWA’s efforts are built off the back of these developments.
CME deputy chief executive, Nicole Roocke, said Blueprint will provide a framework for promoting safety, and reducing the risks and impacts of mental health issues on and off sites.
“Mental illness is a significant issue within the community and there is growing appreciation for how mental health issues may manifest in the workplace,” Roocke said.
“CME recognises there is an important role for all workplaces to play in promoting wellbeing and addressing the risks and impact of mental illness.”