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Bullying in fly-in-fly-out employees in the Australian resources sector: A cross-sectional study

Miller, P., Brook, L., Stomski, N., Ditchburn, G. and Morrison, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-3389-8393 (2020) Bullying in fly-in-fly-out employees in the Australian resources sector: A cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE, 15 (3). e0229970.

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Background Workplace bullying has diverse consequences at both the organisational and individual level. Anecdotal reports indicate that workplace bullying is an issue of particular concern for Australian FIFO workers, which may impact on psychosocial distress. However, no prior studies have examined this issue empirically in a FIFO worker cohort. Methods and materials A cross-sectional survey study design was used to establish the prevalence of bullying in Australian FIFO, antecedents of bullying, and its association with psychosocial distress. Responses were received from 580 FIFO workers in the Australian resources sector. Primary outcome measures were Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised, Beck Depression Inventory II, and Beck Hopelessness Scale. Logistic regression models were constructed to examine the association between bullying, suicide risk, and clinical depression. Results Over half of the respondents experienced workplace bullying (55.7%), and about one-third reported moderate or more severe depression (32.3%). Being above the median age (OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31-0.83) and having a supervisor who failed to promote collaboration (OR = 3.04; 95% CI = 1.84-5.04) were both significantly associated with experiencing bullying. Bullying was associated with an almost threefold increase in the likelihood of participants reporting increased suicide risk (OR = 2.70; 95% CI = 1.53-4.76). Bullying was also associated with participants being almost two and a half times more likely to report clinical depression (OR = 2.38; 95% CI = 1.40-4.05). Conclusion The incidence of bullying in Australian FIFO workers has reached alarming proportions. Bullying was significantly associated with higher levels of clinical depression and suicide risk. The results highlight the need to implement in the Australian resource sector interventions that reduce workplace bullying.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2020 Miller et al
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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