Manufacturing News

Mental stress main cause of OHS claims

Mental stress is one of the main causes of workplace injuries in Tasmania, including those in manufacturing plants, according to new figures from WorkCover Tasmania.

The Minister for Workplace Relations, the Hon David O’Byrne, said in 2009 a total of 9,273 injuries were reported across industries, including 372 caused by mental stress.

“On a national level, statistics show that more than three million people in Australia experience depression, anxiety or related alcohol and drug problems each year,” O’Byrne said.

“Each year, undiagnosed depression in the workplace costs $4.3 billion in lost productivity.

“Every employee with depression will, on average, take three to four days off work per month which is equivalent to over six million days lost each year in Australia.

“In 2008, WorkCover Tasmania entered into a unique research project based at the University of Tasmania, which focuses on mental health in small to medium enterprises.

“This Business in Mind project recently released an innovative DVD and resource kit to assist small and medium business owners and managers to recognise the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and manage mental health in the workplace.”

The results were released at the recent Safe Work Tasmania Week on October.

During the Week, Beyondblue hosted a workshop focusing on opening our eyes to the most common mental health problems in the workplace, while the Premiers Physical Activity Council is hosting a full day workplace health and wellbeing forum, Minister O’Byrne said.

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