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Does on-site chaplaincy enhance the health and well being of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) personnel?

Ebert, A. and Strehlow, K. (2017) Does on-site chaplaincy enhance the health and well being of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) personnel? Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 28 (2). pp. 118-122.

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Issue addressed
The fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) work style has been linked to mental-health and interpersonal issues and a need for strategies that maintain a healthy workforce. This study investigated whether 24/7 on-site chaplains deliver a service that promotes the health and well being of FIFO personnel.

A phenomenological approach was used to explore the perceptions of FIFO personnel working in different roles and organisational sections on a remote mine site in Western Australia. Multi-pronged strategies recruited 29 participants who represented management, supervisors, workers and support staff. Participants took part in semistructured interviews conducted either one-on-one or in pairs.

Chaplains were described as making a valuable contribution to the physical and mental health of FIFO personnel. Specific aspects of the service such as active outreach, effective trust building and the on-site availability were identified as central to the service being accessed and overcoming barriers embedded in mining culture and masculinity.

On-site chaplaincy appears to be effective in promoting the physical and mental health of FIFO personnel working at a remote mine site. So what? This promising model of active on-site outreach offered by chaplains is set apart from existing FIFO support structures. We recommend further exploration of its potential to become part of an integrated health-support system in the mining sector and other industries.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
Publisher: Australian Health Promotion Association
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