What puts fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers at risk of mental illness will be investigated by a West Australian parliamentary inquiry.

The inquiry has been prompted by a spate of FIFO workers who have taken their lives over the past 12 months.

The Education and Health Standing Committee said the inquiry would also look at current laws, regulations, policies and practices for workplace mental health in WA.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan said the inquiry wasn’t about stigmatising FIFO workers or attacking the mining industry but supporting them.

“If it saves just one life it will be worth it,” Mr McGowan said.

“FIFO works well for many workers and their families. But it can also be tough and lonely.

“People need to know that there is somewhere they can go if they are experiencing difficulties.”

Mental Health Commissioner Tim Marney told a public hearing last week that he would appoint a senior clinician to investigate the deaths of the workers.

But Mr Marney said there was no need for an inquiry into the causes of FIFO suicides and the services provided to workers because that was already known.

The committee will present its initial report by the end of the year and its final report on March 5, 2015.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.