Enel Green Power, MATES in Construction WA and major project partners join forces at Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 1

Construction of Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 1, located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, commenced in 2022. The first two of 18 wind turbines have recently been installed, with installation of all remaining turbines underway. A construction work force of around 80 personnel is currently working at the project site.

Recognising the need to support and build a strong and resilient on-site construction team, we’ve partnered with MATES in Construction Western Australia (WA), alongside major project partners.

Chris Barry, Head of Health, Safety, Environment, Quality and Sustainability for Enel Green Power Australia, explained, “MATES in Construction is a charity established in 2008 to help reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers. MATES in Construction provides suicide prevention through community development programs on sites, and by supporting workers in need through case management and a 24/7 help line.”

Recognising the realities of psychosocial risks in the construction industry, we acknowledged the importance of addressing mental health issues and removing the stigma surrounding them. Chris explained, “On site at Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 1 we aim to create a safe, healthy, and productive workplace by opening up conversations about mental health and suicide, fostering an environment of support and understanding.”

“MATES in Construction is about ‘mates looking after mates’,” Chris emphasised, “This program serves as a timely reminder for all of us to check in with our close ones and be vigilant about the tell-tale signs of mental health issues.”

“The construction industry is booming across Australia, and many of our country’s best tradespeople and industry specialists are working in remote areas, constructing each new project, often away from family and friends,” Chris said. “In these times, we must stick together and form relationships of trust, resilience, and support.”

The MATES in Construction program works on a comprehensive model designed to raise awareness, build resilience, and connect workers to the best available help and support. The core of the program involves training to enhance mental health and suicide prevention literacy.

“As our Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 1 has achieved MATES Accredited Status, we will continue to focus on the wellness of our workers,” Chris proudly declared.

“MATES is not just about offering a support phone line and case management,” Chris continued, “It’s about empowering our workers to become proactive in supporting each other’s mental health. It’s about being there for our mates during both the good and the tough times.”

“As we continue to collaborate with MATES in Construction WA, and our major project partners, we are committed to educating our work force about mental health and developing a strong support network for all of us,” Chris reaffirmed.

Construction of the Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 1 will continue for the remainder of 2023 with the project expected to be fully operational in early 2024.