A new report says miners are at risk because of punishing rosters.
A new report says miners are at risk because of punishing rosters. Peter Holt

Punishing rosters are pushing miners to the limit

FATIGUE, illness and stressed partners are just some of the hot button issues mine workers are faced with, a new study released today showed.

The first wave of findings from the Australian Coal and Energy Survey has detailed why shift lengths and rostering are affecting mine workers, says the CFMEU.

As the mining industry continues to expand, mine managers have been urged to pay attention to the research.

The survey shows that shift work and workers' ability to have a say over their working hours has far-reaching implications for their physical and mental health and family lives.

The CFMEU's energy and mining division general secretary Andrew Vickers says the research shines a light on the impacts shift patterns have on mine workers and their families.

"As mining spreads into new areas and companies attempt to expand the use of fly-in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workforces, it's time we looked closely at the toll these demanding shift patterns take on workers and communities," Mr Vickers says.

"Those of us in the industry see it first hand: accidents on the road due to fatigue, drug and alcohol use and family breakdowns.

"When mine managers consider extending shift hours and roster patterns they need to take into account the human cost as well; and the cost of high turnover due to unsustainable work patterns.

"Given complete 'managerial prerogative', for example in non-union sections of the mining industry, they are inclined to burn through young, single men on punishing rosters.

"That's no good for people and it's ultimately not sustainable for the industry."

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