FIFO, FIFO, and off to work we woe

Gordon B Parker AO
Med J Aust 2018; 208 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja18.00075
Published online: 21 May 2018

Contrary to the stereotype, remote mining and construction workers in Australia experience high levels of psychological distress

The usual stereotype of those who work in mining and construction in remote parts of Australia is a blokey male; easy-going, stoic, practical, denying any worries (“No problems, mate!”, “Too easy!”) and dismissing anxiety and depression as something for wusses. A Jimmy Barnes-style Working Class Man with blue denim in his veins, who ain’t worried about tomorrow and takes one day at a time. But the reality is different! Firstly, not all these workers are men. More importantly, as reported by Bowers and her co-authors in this issue of the MJA,1 remote workers have a markedly higher level of psychological distress than the general Australian population.

  • University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Bowers J, Lo J, Miller P, et al. Psychological distress in remote mining and construction workers in Australia. Med J Aust 2018; 208: 391-397.
  • 2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4364.0.55.001. National Health Survey: first results, 2014–15. Dec 2015. (viewed Mar 2018).
  • 3. Verheji RA, Mheen HD, van de Bakker DH, et al. Urban–rural variations in health in the Netherlands: does selective migration play a part. J Epidemiol Community Health 1998; 52: 487-493.


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