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Microsoft word - mining lifestyle guide - euromineBIBO Mining Jobs BIBO is quickly developing into a way of life for many workers in the mining industry instead of just a means of transport. In the past, mining villages were formed by the large mining companies to house employees long-term. Nowadays, temporary camps are set up very close to the mine sites. This allows camps to be moved according to the jobs, decreases start up costs which in turn makes short term mining operations financially viable. Considering the remote positions of the mine sites, workers need to commute to the camps by arrangements such as BIBO or FIFO. BIBO lifestyle BIBO allows mining employees to commute to the mines according to their roster. Therefore, the workers reside in a nearby town and travel to the site for the duration of their rostered work period. The BIBO routine is distinguished by the following features: • On-site home. A variety of accommodation is available for the staff on mine site camps and is usually determined by the size, age and duration of the camp. These camp sites are considered a second home for many of the staff. The accommodation is set-up with up to date facilities including on-site leisure amenities such as gyms, pools and taverns offering a comfortable stay. • Negotiable working rosters. Rosters can typically be negotiated to suit the employee’s family and lifestyle. An example of a popular roster is 9 days on, 5 days off. • Long working weeks consisting of commonly 80+ hours. When rostered on, staff are required to work 12 hour days, 7 days a week. Although new recruits may find this to be a challenge at first, they soon recognise the financial benefits in addition to the extended time off as a • Rest and Relaxation. Instead of a 2 day weekend, BIBO employees benefit from having extended time off to recuperate before their next roster begins. It also allows them to enjoy more days off in a row to pursue various hobbies, take a holiday or just spend quality time with BIBO – Is It For You? BIBO presents fantastic financial and lifestyle opportunities. A major advantage is the earning capacities in mining jobs – the high wages and relatively long hours means you earn a high income in a short period of time. As well as the previously mentioned financial rewards, many employees prefer the roster work schedule, as it offers extended rest and relaxation periods to spend with family and friends. To enjoy your BIBO position to the fullest especially for long term happiness, having a good balance is crucial. So we strongly advise you to negotiate a roster that will suit your family and lifestyle needs. After familiarizing yourself with this way of life, roster and income it may even become your favoured FIFO vs. BIBO The BIBO routine is fairly similar to FIFO; however, the following are a few common differences: • Rosters. FIFO rosters are generally longer than BIBO rosters. Due to the longer commute and the cost of this commute to and from the camps, the mining companies prefer to do this as little as possible. Therefore FIFO rosters are generally longer; for example month on, 2 weeks off. If a worker’s residence is reasonably close to the camp, their roster may be as short as two days on, • Home Residence. FIFO workers are able to live anywhere and often choose to live in major cities, interstate, or even overseas. Compared to BIBO workers that often live within a 10 hour In both work arrangements travel allowances are provided. However, for BIBO employees, often mining companies organise buses to transport large groups of workers to the mine sites from the nearby towns. What is FIFO? FIFO stands for fly in fly out. These jobs require workers to fly in to the mine sites for the period that they are rostered on, and then fly to their preferred location when off duty. The camp sites are provided with high quality accommodation, including catered meals, cleaning and leisure facilities. FIFO Rosters Similar to the BIBO lifestyle, the FIFO arrangement is also dictated by a roster. A standard FIFO roster in mining is two weeks on, one week off. However, due to the time and cost to get to some of the more isolated mine sites, mining companies may agree on longer rosters such as month on, month off which do include one day’s rest every 2 weeks. Conversely, sites closer to major cities often have shorter rosters such as six days on four days off. When working on site, 10+ hour days are typical and expected of all workers. When contemplating a FIFO roster, consider how you would cope with these long hours – could you cope with living and working on-site for longer periods of time or are shorter stays more for FIFO Accommodation The temporary camps are set up to be as comfortable for the employees as possible. The accommodation ranges from small homes with a private en suite, or luxury resort type accommodation. All accommodation include comfortable beds, TVs, phone and internet connections. There are also several leisure facilities on-site such as gymnasiums and/or swimming pools. Advantages of FIFO FIFO benefits both mine employees as well as mining companies. FIFO enables the employment of skilled workers who wouldn’t otherwise be willing to work in such remote locations. For employees • High Salaries. In addition to the high income capacity working in the mining industry, many mining companies pay considerable travel and living allowances. • Residence in any location. Due to the skills shortages in Australia’s mining industry it is not unheard of mining companies flying workers from any location, even internationally. FIFO employees can live interstate, in a city of their choice while continuing to commute to the mine sites for their scheduled work periods. This can be very helpful for FIFP parents with children at school as it allows the children’s schooling and lives to be consistent. • Extended Rest and Relaxation. The longer periods between shifts allows workers to spend time with family, travel and engage in various hobbies. FIFO workers are able to choose to fly home or to any location in the world for their time off • Frequent Flyer Rewards. Even though the employer financers flights, it is the FIFO staff that accumulate points and are able to enjoy the frequent flyer rewards. FIFO Challenges Aside from the various advantages, FIFO can also create challenges for employees living this way of life. The extended periods of time away from friends and family may be difficult not only for the workers but also for other family members. The time spent apart from loved ones, as well as the long working hours has the ability to put strain on relationships. Due to these long hours that are worked on site, body clocks may change and therefore, may require you to adapt when spending time with friends and family back at your home base. Because of the ------ nature of rosters, it can be hard to ------ your work roster Weather these Benefits of FIFO makes overcoming the obstacles worthwhile is a very personal decision. However, by creating this article for possible employees, we are trying to make this decision as well informed as possible. Many have made FIFO a long term career choice enjoying this routine. However it isn’t for everybody, many have chosen to persevere through the challenges short-term with the intention of quick income. So if you are thinking about a FIFO job, consider a roster to suit your family Mine Site Living – What to Expect As mining sites are often in remote locations, workers are forced to live on-site for the duration of their working period. This may be as little as 2 day shifts or as long as four weeks in a row. To help you understand what it is like living at the mine camps and what to expect, below is a list of pros and cons Pros of Mine Site Living Mining companies go to great lengths to ensure employees are comfortable and enjoy their stay while on-site. As a result, some of the more positive things about living at the mining camps include: Sporting and Leisure Facilities. Workers are encouraged to stay fit and have access to fully equipped gyms. Some of the larger camps also have basketball courts, swimming pools, and other sporting Meals. There is always a dining room on site where workers are able to enjoy cooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As shifts start and finish at various times of the day, all meals are available Cleaning Services. Your lodging is cleaned 2-3 times a weeks while you a working, this allows you to fully relax after your days work – not needing to worry about any cleaning or cooking. TV, Phone and Internet Connection. Most camp sites offer Pay TV, phone and internet. This allows you to stay in contact with your family and friends at all times, keeping you entertained and making your Low Living Expenses. The cost of living on mine sites is very low which means your saving capabilities are increased. Some sites do have a bar/tavern on site, however shopping opportunities are basically non-existent so alongside the long hours, there are very little opportunities to spend. Cons of Mine Site Living Living at the mine site may not be for everyone. The most common challenge is the pressure of being away from friends and family. Some other disadvantages include: • Long Working Days. Most employees work over 10 hours a day, 7 days a week when rostered on. So the 80+ working week is demanding, especially if you are used to the usual 9-5, 5 days a • Dust, Heat and Flies. The remote location of mines means extreme temperatures, flies and dust. This can be very bothering especially during the summer months for those working outdoors. • Camp Meals. As camps are catered for the mass of employees, meals must be cooked in bulk. So no matter how good the kitchen staff is, camp meals never compare to a home cooked meal. • Repetition. Due to the strict routines at the camps and the long hours, people often complain of the tedious nature of the work days. With the early morning starts, pre-commencement meetings and strict working procedures, employees often criticize that every day is the same as • Remoteness. Very often the mining sites are quite remote and isolated which adds to the repetitive lifestyle as there is nowhere to travel or take a break from camp living • Alcohol screening. Shifts usually begin with a pre-commencement meeting which can often include alcohol breath tests. Even though there is typically a bar located at each camp, employees are required to limit alcohol consumption for their shifts the next day according to Is Mine Site Living for You? Personal circumstances and personality will impact the way you perceive on-site living. A young, single person would probably enjoy on-site living a great deal more than a married individual with children – who will miss their loved ones. On the other hand, working in the mining industry can bring about enormous career fulfilment. Due to the exceptional salaries, people often enjoy the overall upgrade in their lifestyles. If you can arrange a roster to suit your needs so it provides the right balance between work and leisure, in addition to the high income, you may even prefer this way of life. A Roster for Happy Living FIFO and BIBO employment arrangements are optimized by organizing the perfect roster. Different employees have different needs and therefore prefer different rosters. People who have families, who need to spend quality time with their kids often prefer a more balanced roster such as 8 days on, 8 days off. Whereas people who don’t mind camp living and prefer to be working more often can have a four weeks on, one week off roster. A typical roster is 8 days on 5 days off or two weeks on, one week off. Nevertheless, there are other considerations will need to be aware of when choosing a roster. For example, a roster of four days on, four days off may seem to be a good idea, until you realize that this shift entails working two days, then two nights, then four days off. This sort of roster is known to disrupt the body clock which may not be an ideal roster for workers with children. However, to your advantage mining rosters are very flexible and you will be able to negotiate with the mining companies a roster to suit your needs (especially if your qualifications are in high demand). The medical examinations that are necessary before being employed in the mining industry may intimidate potential employees. The thought of not getting a job due to a failed medical examination may scare you, however by becoming familiar with this process and knowing what to expect can prepare you and will allow you to carry out the medical to the best of your ability. Depending on the type of position you are applying for, the medical examination performed will be different. Every Pre- employment medical requires the employee to complete a written questionnaire; from there the exam will vary. The examinations could be as simple as a basic check including blood pressure and eye tests or could include more complicated psychological and fitness tests. The Written Questionnaire The written questionnaire goes through your medical history, current lifestyle and health as well as mental and physical concerns. By including very broad questions, It tries to gather as much information as possible about the potential employee. This questionnaire is usually filled out by the employee, however in some instances it may be filled out by the medical examiners during the examination. Examples of frequently used questions include: Have you ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you taking any prescription medication? Does your family have a history of Diabetes or asthma? Answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions does need further explanation however is not always a bad thing so full and honest answers are required. Providing untruthful information in these questionnaires can get you in trouble, especially if it impact s your ability to do your job or endangers other employees. The Physical Exam The Physical side of the exam is a means to assess your ability in fulfilling your duties in the position you are applying for, as well as meeting the various health and safety laws associated with the job. The extent of the examination will typically vary depending on the role you will be undertaking. Employees that are applying for any of the mining jobs will all undergo the following standard physical examinations, along with any other additional examinations specific to the job. Standard Physical Examinations Hearing Test – In a basic hearing test, an object will be dropped and the examiner will watch for your reaction. More complex tests require you to listen through headphones and press a button whenever MWHS Test – A Mine Workers Health Surveillance (MWHS) test is a hearing and lung function test. Every individual employed by the mining industry is required to have a MWHS Lung Function Test – You will be asked to fill your lungs and blow into a tube as fast as possible until you Body Mass Index – Your height will be measured and you will be weighed on medical scales. You may be asked to remove your shoes and heavy clothing before stepping onto the scales. Blood Pressure –The examiner will wrap a fabric cuff around your arm, just above the elbow. The cuff is inflated, causing it to squeeze tightly around your arm. The examiner then measures your blood pressure via a gauge attached to the cuff while listening to your pulse through a stethoscope. Physical Fitness Test – Physically demanding jobs may require demonstrated cardio fitness. Expect to be running on a treadmill, riding an exercise bike or performing a step-aerobics test. Urine Analysis – You will be asked to provide a urine sample. Typically you will be allowed to use a toilet in private. However, some drug screening tests insist you the test is supervised by a medical officer. Joint Range of Motion – Your examiner may use a protractor-like measurement tool (called a goniometer) to measure how far you can flex and bend your joints. Expect to perform a series of postures and movements, straightening and bending joints such as knees, shoulders and hips. Vision Test – You will be required to stand a specific distance away from an alphabet-based wall chart, before Spinal Assessment – Be prepared to remove all clothing except your underwear. This allows the examiner to visually assess the curvature of your spine from behind and from the side. The examiner will usually feel your spine and back, before asking you to perform a series of movements such as touching your toes and turning your head/neck from side to side. Musculoskeletal Assessment (Strength Test) – During a typical strength test, the examiner will ask you to push against resistance. For example, you may be asked to lift your arm while the examiner applies light downward pressure, pushing against your arm. Alternatively, you might be asked to walk against Optional Physical Examinations X-Ray of the Spine Drug Screening (urine test) – Most drug screening tests will require the urine sample be provided under supervision of a nurse or medical officer. ECG – An ECG detects heart abnormalities by measuring electrical activity of the heart. You will be connected to a measuring machine via a series of electrodes and leads placed on your chest, arms and legs using adhesive. The technician may shave hair from areas where the electrodes are to be placed. MRI – You may be required to undergo an MRI to assess old injuries, or to establish your pre- employment health status for record keeping and monitoring purposes. Psychological screening – Expect either one-on-one interviews, or written examinations designed to evaluate your personality, general reasoning and aptitude. Frequent Concerns Some people often have concerns about the pre-employment medical examination – however, there is no need to worry. If you are feeling nervous about the exam, below is a list of frequent concerns with advice on how to handle each individual situation. • “I am unfit”. A good way to overcome the fear of not performing well in your fitness test is to start training now. The more you train before the test, the more in shape and prepared you are before the test, the better your chances are to succeed. • “I am overweight”. You cannot be denied a job because you are simply overweight. The examiners see people all shapes and sizes every day, so there is no need to be worried. However, if you feel that your weight may impact on your ability to do your job, see your doctor about a weight-loss program; even this initiative will be a positively acknowledged by the • “I’m embarrassed”. Often people are embarrassed to undress or having to complete a urine test while supervised. To decrease the possibility of feeling embarrassed, ensure you are wearing appropriate and modest underwear. Some people also feel more comfortable if there is an extra person in the room such as a nurse. This makes you feel more relaxed and feels safer than just • “I’m afraid revealing a medical condition or previous injury will ruin my chances in getting the job”. The questionnaire is gathering crucial information to decipher whether you fit the role or not. Even if you think a past injury or medical problem may affect your chances you are required to disclose the information. In the long run it’s better that you don’t get the job, than cause an accident at work injuring yourself and/or others. The day of the Medical Examination The following tips will help you to be prepared for the pre-employment medical: • Bring current photo identification. • Wear appropriate underwear. • If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure you have them on the day. If you suffer from asthma, make sure you have your Ventolin puffer. • If you will be doing a fitness test make sure to bring/wear appropriate running shoes and • Do not smoke 24 hours prior to the exam – this will help you perform better in your fitness test • Do not listen to loud music 24 hours prior to the exam – this will avoid temporary hearing problems that may impact on the hearing tests. Stay Calm and Positive It is important to stay calm before the medical examination, not stress, be positive and be prepared. You should know exactly what tests you will be undertaking before the day, this will ensure you are able to complete all the tests to the best of your ability. Pre-commencement Meetings Pre-commencement meetings are vital tools in the mining industry established to get workers focused on their daily duties and give all the employees’ essential information on what is going on that day at the mine site. Due to the fast development of on-site work, during the construction period as well as the ongoing operations, the meetings allow employees to keep track of what is happening. They also allow • Keep track of the ever-present hazards on-site and safety concerns • Identify any problems with the timetabling of scheduled operations or training • Track the progress of the various operations What exactly is a Pre-Start Meeting? At the start of every shift all employees are required to take part in a pre-commencement meeting. Led by a supervisor, these meetings usually take place in an agreed location on the job-site. This location may be anywhere from outside a particular room to next to a piece of machinery. This location will often be changed as the job evolves and can include as little as 2 members to as many as 30 depending on the The Importance of Pre-commencement Meetings Workers need to be kept up-to-date with all the relevant training, productivity and safety information and the pre-commencement meetings have been implemented by the mining companies to ensure these issues are covered on a daily basis. These meetings also help in the planning of daily duties, but also communicate important industry wide information. This included: • On-site hazards and safety issues. Health and Safety is a crucial element across all parts of the mining industry. It is for this reason that it is a major focus in the pre-commencement meetings. The meeting covers all potential hazards on site, addressing the risks associated as well as control techniques to prevent any injuries. Supervisors will also inform staff of all reported accidents from the day before to make them aware of the dangers and help prevent their • Safety Incidents. Site-specific safety issues as well as serious industry incidents are discussed at the pre-commencement meeting. Major incidents that have occurred on other sites around the country and even across the globe are brought up in the hope of preventing it happen again. • Training Notices. In the mining industry training is crucial and is a ongoing process. This is especially relevant in the construction phrase where new safety issues are developing daily. The pre-commencement meetings allows supervisors to inform the staff of relevant training needed and to keep track of the worker’s who have not yet completed the training. • Drug and Alcohol Screening. Pre-commencement meetings is often where random drug and alcohol testing occurs. Although the test routines are different on every site, some specific job will even require a daily alcohol test for safety reasons. • Construction & Progress. Progress reports are crucial for productivity and to keep track of operations and their estimated completion date. Your Contribution to the Pre-Commencement Meeting The thought of having a pre-commencement each morning may sound tedious and repetitive and some days it may very well be. Although the meeting is a very important opportunity for workers and supervisors to convey safety issues, information, observations and tracks the progress of the operation. Below are several examples of the kinds of things covered in pre-commencement meetings; • Productivity concerns and guidance • Changes in shifts, or crews or daily duties. • Safety issues and hazards on-site • General bonding with your crew • Future employments opportunities/concerns It is essential to remember that important information is conveyed in these meetings. It is also a time to raise any current concerns you may have. On the other hand, although its aim is to communicate important issues it also a way to start the day on a good note so often jokes and general conversation is
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