In the mining industry, FIFO (Fly In, Fly Out) mining jobs entail a mining company flying its workers from their homes to a mining job site where the company provides them with accommodation, and then flies them back home periodically depending on their work roster. As extravagant as that may seem, FIFO mining jobs solve the problem of mineworkers working in remote locations away from their families for months or workers having to relocate their families to locations near the mines where they work.
These types of mine jobs are popular in various mining regions of Australia such as Western Australia where most mines exist in remote areas, far away from residential areas. In most cases, expenses incurred in establishing permanent housing for workers are much higher than the cost of airlifting workers to and from work and offering them temporary accommodation.
In view of this cost factor, most mining companies in Australia have adopted mining jobs FIFO as a normal employment practice. Another reason why FIFO mining jobs are popular in the Australian mining industry is they allow mine workers and their families to live permanently near the mine may expose them to the risk of the total loss of income in future in case the mine closes. If you look at most of the entry level oil field jobs in Northern Canada, 90% are FIFO also. It has been very much adopted by the international community as a standard practice.
Many mining companies that offer FIFO mines jobs generally aim to design work rosters that strike the right balance between the work and personal life of their employees. Most companies also ensure that their rosters make the FIFO working arrangement appealing to their employees. In most cases, mining jobs FIFO operate on an arrangement of long work shifts for several days. The workers can spend the off days they get after working these long shifts at home when they fly out of the mining sites.
It is important to note that job rosters dictate the lifestyles of mining jobs FIFO. Most of these rosters operate on a biweekly working shift, followed by 7 days off. However, mines in remote locations often have longer working shifts since the cost of flying workers in and out of work is significantly high. On the other hand, mines that are near major cities and airports have shorter working shifts. For instance, some mine jobs enable workers to work on a 2 days on, 2 days off schedule.
In terms of working hours, most individuals who get mine jobs on a FIFO basis work a minimum of 12 hours a day. However, some mining companies have rosters that require workers to work much longer hours daily. Furthermore, most mineworkers have to work 7-day weeks in order to qualify for one week off every two weeks.
In terms of living arrangements, most of the accommodation offered by mining companies ranges from portable homes to hotel rooms. Employees also have access to amenities such as air conditioning, Internet connection and house cleaning services. This ensures that employees enjoy the same standard of living at work as they have at home. Some mining companies also offer luxury amenities such as gyms and swimming pools as a means of attracting well qualified mining staff. However, since most FIFO job rosters have long shifts, workers do not get a lot of leisure time to enjoy these luxuries.
Overall, it is important to note that while most mining companies have pre-established work rosters used for FIFO mine jobs, most new employees have the opportunity to negotiate a suitable work roster based on their coping abilities. For instance, employees who have families can negotiate for rosters that have long working hours in order to get more off days to spend with their families. Employees can also request to work during day or night shifts depending on their preference.
Benefits of Fly In, Fly Out Jobs
The main reason why mining companies employ workers on a FIFO working arrangement is to be able to tap into skilled labour that would otherwise be unavailable if mineworkers had to relocate to the towns near the mines. On the other hand, there are varied reasons why employees choose to work mines jobs on a FIFO basis. For employees, the benefits of working under such an arrangement include;
• Great financial rewards: Most mining companies offer good salaries and significant travel and accommodation allowances that make these mines jobs financially lucrative.
• Living in any region: Due to the shortage of skilled mineworkers in areas such as Western Australia and the amount of mine jobs QLD has to offer, mining companies are prepared to fly in workers from far off regions. In view of this, employees who want a fulfilling mining career that does not interfere with their living arrangements may live in one state and work in another. FIFO work rosters are also flexible enough to enable workers to travel back home frequently. This means that workers do not have to relocate their families and disrupt their lifestyles.
• Long work breaks: In most cases, mineworkers who work under this arrangement get about two weeks off each month. Few mines jobs offer such long breaks in a month. Furthermore, some mining companies fly out workers to other locations during their breaks if they want to take a holiday away from home.
• Easy to move jobs: In most cases, moving from one job to another causes major disruptions for an employee’s family. However, if one moves from one FIFO mine job to another, he/she can retain the same family home. This makes it easy to change jobs and look for greener pastures within mining industry.
The Drawbacks of FIFO Jobs
The challenges of working as a mine employee on a Fly in, Fly out arrangement include:
• Spending long periods away from your family as you wait for your off days- this can cause family relationships to break down.
• The long working shifts dictated in FIFO mining jobs work rosters can cause physical strain, stress and sleeping problems.
• Planning your “family time” around mines jobs work rosters can be difficult since such roster schedules can change abruptly.
Overall, both employers and employees can benefit from FIFO working job arrangements. There is a a lot of mine Jobs WA has to offer as well as most of the states. Employees who accept and deal with the short term challenges of mining jobs FIFO can reap great financial and lifestyle rewards in the long term. However, it is important for employees to determine if they can cope with the long working shifts of these mines jobs before accepting FIFO mining jobs.