UnionsWA has today commented on the release by the Insurance Commission of WA of a report showing that claims for work-related stress among the public sector workforce has risen greatly. UnionsWA has release the early results of its own survey that shows workload and management-related stress is the greatest concern among all working people, including those in the public and not-for-profit sectors.
Owen Whittle, Assistant Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“Work-related stress claims are rising and this is linked not only to rising awareness of the importance of good mental health, but also cut-backs to staffing and the need for many in our public services to work with those who are most disadvantaged in our community.
“These factors impact on our teachers, emergency services workers, police and hospital workforce.
“Today, UnionsWA has also release the first early results of our own survey amongst working West Australians.
“That survey found workload and management-related stress is the single greatest concern, not only for those in the public sector but also those in the private and not-for-profit sectors.
“Across different sectors and workplaces different factors influence work health and safety.
“In the private and not-for-profit sectors growing insecurity of work is likely a factor contributing to fear of discrimination if workers’ compensation claims are made.
“The findings of the Insurance Commission of WA Annual Report and the UnionsWA study highlight the importance of prevention.
“All workplaces across WA should have elected Occupational Health and Safety Representatives protected by strong laws and with the backing of unions.
"WA safety laws need to be updated to properly recognise that psychological stress is a legitimate factor for the health of working people."