Roy HIll Mining staff experiences

This is the sugar-coated version of FIFO (Fly In, Fly Out) life – above average salaries, free accommodation and food, compact schedules with extended rest days. The real FIFO lifestyle is much more complex, with real challenges that need genuine solutions to overcome. So rather than sell you the shiny half of the story, we’re laying it all out in the open to help you decide if FIFO life is right for you. That’s what’s really important.

FIFO life

Working FIFO is a simple 3-step process:

  1. Fly out to a mining site
  2. Work on site for a fixed period of time
  3. Fly home for a fixed period of rest and relaxation (R&R).

The length of time you’re away and on break depends on your roster (sometimes called swings). For example, if you work a 14:10 / 14:11 roster you’ll work seven days, then seven nights onsite, followed by ten or eleven days of R&R.

Perks, planes & perspiration

Let’s cut to the chase – the FIFO lifestyle requires you to frequently board planes and work long hours in a hot, harsh, environment away from family. Sure, the extended break and other perks help balance this out, but it is still a lifestyle that may not suit everyone’s circumstances.

At Roy Hill, we know that to go from surviving your swing to actually enjoying and fully appreciating the experience, you as a worker need to build resilience by taking control. Our working environment is specially set up to help you achieve this – if you grasp our opportunities with both hands, you’ll go a long way towards making the right lifestyle changes that positively support your health and wellbeing.

In short? If you want it, you’ll love it.

Let’s take a look at the four main challenges FIFO workers confront and how to best overcome them.

ISOLATION

The challenge:

Working FIFO requires you to spend long periods of time away from friends and family. This may take time adjusting to – in the meantime, you may potentially experience feelings of isolation, anxiety, drops in energy levels and changes in mood, which can affect your relationships.

What you can do:

  • Place extra emphasis on strengthening your relationships by listening and providing support to your loved ones at home.
  • Stay in contact through Internet, social media and phone calls during downtime.
  • Schedule family holidays and celebrations – if you miss an important date, plan to celebrate on your return.
  • Get involved in family life when you are at home – make time for everyday things like homework and kids’ bedtime.
  • Be as sociable as possible, both on site and at home.

How Roy Hill helps:

  • We fought hard to design longer rest periods between swings so you can spend more time with family and friends (14:10 / 14:11 or 8:6 rosters).
  • We have initiatives in place to help keep your family life happy and healthy while you’re away, including family site visit days.
  • We provide ‘permanent’ rooms, so you can feel at home every swing by retiring to the same room – your room.
FATIGUE

The challenge:

FIFO swings require you to work long shifts (including night shifts), perform your job and travel to and from your accommodation each day. As you adjust to this new pattern, fatigue may pose a risk to your safety in the short term, and if it’s not managed, to your health in the long term. These risks are manageable, but it may take time and some lifestyle changes.

What you can do:

  • Make time to relax by reading, watching TV or listening to music.
  • Try to eat well, including fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
  • Make time for exercise at the gym, walking and sporting activities.
  • If you’re feeling under the weather at work, speak up and let your supervisor know.
  • Never drive tired. Stop and rest, or arrange to car pool.

How Roy Hill helps:

  • Roy Hill has a range of fatigue management initiatives (including training and health promotion programs) designed to maximise healthy eating, exercise, relaxation and a good night’s sleep.
  • We’ve invested in outstanding facilities to support fresh minds and bodies, including a large gym, pool, volleyball and basketball courts, cricket nets and an auditorium.
  • Our comfortable accommodation is designed for unwinding and relaxation, with a king-sized single bed, ensuite (toilet and shower), air conditioning, TV, Internet, phone and fridge.
COLLEAGUES

The challenge:

No matter how great something is you can eventually get sick of it if you have it too much. It’s the same with people. As a FIFO worker, you’ll be working and living in close quarters with your new colleagues for long periods of time, which can potentially take its toll. By making some easy changes, you can help avoid conflict and competitiveness, making your day-to-day experience on site more enjoyable.

What you can do:

  • Develop the resilience to navigate long periods of time spent with colleagues.
  • Make friends on site who you can trust (rather than just rely on your existing support network at home).
  • Socialise with your new work mates, but make sure to keep time alone to rest and sleep.
  • Get support if you need it. Remember – it’s OK to ask for help.

How Roy Hill helps:

  • We believe that workers who get along outside of work will genuinely want to collaborate towards onsite success.
  • Roy Hill encourages friendship through organising an array of social events such as BBQs, team sports and seminars.
  • We promote the sharing of skills socially, with classes run on site by employees, for employees (like photography classes).
FINANCES

The challenge:

Most mine sites use above average salaries to make the FIFO lifestyle more alluring. And while money is in no way a silver bullet for solving all the day-to-day challenges, it’s certainly a welcome reward for your hard work. The reality is that the FIFO lifestyle may only suit your needs for certain periods of your life. So it’s important to make some financially responsible choices that will help you get the most out of your time here.

What you can do:

  • Make a financial plan.
  • Talk to a financial planner to help you save, limit your spending and make smart investment choices.

How Roy Hill helps:

  • Roy Hill offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for support with stress and financial difficulties.

Lead | Care | Think | Perform

Roy Hill. Evolving Mining.