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Study: Stress claims on the rise

25 July 2011 - 6:51pm

There has been a 54 per cent jump in mental stress claims over the last five years, according to Australia's federal work health and safety regulator Comcare.

Comcare's work health and safety general manager Neil Quarmby says that stress from work is largely responsible for the rise.

The report shows that whilst injury claims are falling, stress is fast become the most serious threat to the mental health of Australians.

"Clearly this trend could have serious consequences for employees and employers through serious health issues and a significant loss in productivity," said Quarmby.

Of the claims that resulted in more than a week off from work, mental stress claims accounted for almost 22 per cent.

The study also revealed that bullying and harassment is equally as responsible for stress as workload pressure.

Quarmby is urging all employers to assess the stress levels of their workplace environment and put measures in place to reduce the strain on staff.

Preventative measures need to be put in place by employers before workers suffer through mental fatigue, anxiety and depression.

A stress-free work environment needs to cater for employers during and after hours.

While fair workloads play an important part in addressing stress on the job, companies can also show commitment to their staff’s health by offering a corporate health plan.