Excessive rosters and feelings of isolation may have contributed to the three suspected suicide deaths of coal seam gas (CSG) workers in the Surat Basin in the past few months, according to the Electrical Trades Union.
Speaking to Surat Basin.com.au, Electrical Trades Union South West organiser Dan McGaw, said the death last weekend of a 42 year old Townsville man at the APLNG Reedy Creek camp may have been preventable.
“Although these (FIFO) workers are paid well, they are under high stress, which is not helped under the excessive rosters these workers are forced to work,” Mr McGaw said.
“Their communication systems aren’t adequate. We’re seeing cases where workers can’t Skype with their families.”
“It can be complete isolation for these guys working three weeks on, one week off.”
Mr McGaw said there have been 10 deaths in the sector so far this year.
“I have been doing this job since the Surat Basin boom, and we’re definitely seeing a massive increase this year,” he said.
“If we add them up, it would be about 10. That’s 10 too many, and the thing is, they’re all preventable.”
“The workers are telling us first hand that their rosters are excessive – no amount of money can replace the life events you miss when working three weeks of the month.”
News Source: Surat Basin.com.au
If you are thinking about suicide, or are concerned about someone else’s safety, contact Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 13 11 14 or visit the website for information and resources, including a tool kit for helping someone at risk of suicide: www.lifeline.org.au.