We plan to determine whether Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) supports its staff to maintain their mental health.
Why this is important
Fire service workers are regularly exposed to events that can impair their mental health. Poor workplace practices and culture can make this worse. Mental health stigma can prevent fire service workers from reporting mental health issues and drive them to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms. The resulting cost of mental health WorkCover claims impacts fire services.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s (MFB) 2016 review of employee support programs, including mental health strategies, revealed negative findings about its workplace culture, mental health stigma and leadership. It also found that its employee support program was well‐regarded, but under‐resourced and not meeting the emerging health risks. The cost of WorkCover compensation for MFB was very high, even when compared to other emergency service organisations.
What we plan to examine
This reasonable assurance performance audit will examine whether FRV, MFB’s successor, has effective strategies to promote the wellbeing and mental health of their staff.
We propose to scope DJCS, FRV and WorkSafe Victoria into this engagement.