The FIFO lifestyle
We are work life balance.
Firstly, what is FIFO?
Fly-In Fly-Out, or FIFO work, allows people to work in a remote location without having to relocate to the area. Employees are flown in and out to the site and provided with accommodation, hospitality and recreation during their time away. In Roy Hill’s case, this is our iron ore operation in the Pilbara region.
Working FIFO is a simple three step process:
- Fly out to a mine site
- Work on site for a fixed period of time, and then
- 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 (also called swings). At Roy Hill, we believe in a healthy work-life balance and offer flexible working options and lifestyle-friendly rosters, which allow you to spend more time at home.
What’s FIFO life like?
For each swing, we’ll fly you to and from site on one of our charter flights for the mine or commercial flights to Port Hedland. At the Roy Hill Mine, we have our own airport, Ginbata, located close to the mine and village accommodation.
In the Pilbara, you can expect a dry, desert-like climate with summer times temperatures reaching over 40°C.
While you’re away on site, you’ll stay at either our Roy Hill Mine Accommodation Village or the Port Hedland Gateway Village, which are purpose-built accommodation villages for the FIFO lifestyle.
- Village facilities are equipped with air-conditioned ensuite rooms and state-of-the-art recreation amenities. Such as beach volleyball, swimming pool, well equipped gym, walking or cycling paths.
- Our social clubs run a variety of onsite activities and entertainment.
- Meals are provided with a selection of hot, cold and healthy options available.
How long are shifts?
While it will depend on your role, the duration of a shift is typically 12 hours. Depending on the length of your swing, you may be required to switch between working night shifts and day shifts. For most employees, a bus will take you to and from the village for your shift.
The activities and duties required during your shift will depend on your specific role. You’ll begin each shift with a pre-start meeting. As our sites operate 24 hours a day, it’s essential there’s a handover between the night shift and day shift (or vice versa) to pass on any important information or activities that have occurred. Once you’ve completed your shift, you’ll have a debrief meeting, where any important information is passed on to those working on the next shift.
FIFO life – the challenges
The FIFO lifestyle includes rest and relaxation periods and other great benefits, but it can also have challenges. At Roy Hill, we care about our people and want to provide you and your family with the information and support you might require to make the most of a FIFO career.
Here are some of the challenges of the FIFO lifestyle and how together we can address them:
Working FIFO requires you to spend time away from family and friends. This may take time to adjust to and may cause you to experience feelings of isolation. In turn, this can also impact your loved ones with you not being at home to support them.
What you can do:
- Be engaged with the various activities promoted on and off-site, and include your family where possible.
- Build friendships with colleagues to help create a support network on site.
- Stay in contact with your loved ones through the internet, social media and phone calls during downtime. Roy Hill offers free high-speed Wi-Fi facilities to make this as easy as possible for you.
- 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 family members.
- Stay active and social, both on-site and at home.
How we help:
- We provide extended rest periods between swings through lifestyle-friendly rosters, so you can spend more time with family and friends.
- We provide back-to-back permanent rooms, so you can feel at home every swing by returning to the same room.
- We help you meet people and build a support network through social events such as BBQs, team sports and seminars.
- We also run various social events (such as barbecues and family movie days) to allow employees and FIFO families to meet each other and build a support network for when you’re not at home.
- Our Employee Assistance Program provides free professional counselling services to our employees and their immediate family. This service is completely confidential and voluntary.
FIFO swings require you to work long shifts (possibly at times 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. However, these risks are manageable.
What you can do:
- Make time to relax by reading, watching TV or listening to music.
- Try to eat well, including protein, fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water every day.
- 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 carpool.
How we help:
- 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 invest in outstanding facilities to support healthy minds and bodies, including a large gym, pool, volleyball and basketball courts, cricket nets and a 250 raised seated auditorium.
- Our comfortable accommodation is designed for unwinding and relaxation, and includes a king-sized single bed, ensuite (toilet, basin and shower), air conditioning, TV, Internet, phone and fridge.
Working FIFO is often associated with above-average salaries. It’s important to make financially responsible choices that will help you get the most out of this opportunity and to help set you up for your future.
What you can do:
- Make a financial plan.
- Talk to a financial planner to help you save, limit spending and make smart investment choices.
How Roy Hill helps:
- We offer an Employee Assistance Program for support with stress and financial difficulties.