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Mental Disease Presentation June 2013 Brad Parker Assistant Director WorkCover Tasmania.

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Presentation on theme: "Mental Disease Presentation June 2013 Brad Parker Assistant Director WorkCover Tasmania."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mental Disease Presentation June 2013 Brad Parker Assistant Director WorkCover Tasmania

2 What we will cover today Key Findings from a SafeWork Australia Report Tasmanian Experience Causes of Mental Stress Bullying Fair Work Australia. Managing Bullying Looking Forward

3 A National Perspective Mental stress claims are the most expensive form of workers’ compensation claims because of the often lengthy periods of absence from work typical of these claims. Mental stress claims are predominantly made by women. Men and women are more likely to make a claim for mental stress as they get older but after they reach 54 years the likelihood that they made a claim decreases. More Professionals made claims for mental stress than other any other occupation with over a third of their claims made for Work pressure. There were more mental stress claims made for Work pressure than any other sub-category. The hazards that result in mental stress claims vary with worker age. Younger workers are more likely to make claims as a result of Exposure to workplace or occupational violence, whereas Work pressure is the main cause of mental stress claims for older workers, peaking for those aged 45–49 years. General clerks, School teachers and Police Officers accounted for the majority of claims for Work pressure. Women were around three times more likely than men to make a workers’ compensation claim due to Work-related harassment &/or workplace bullying. Approximately one-third of all claims in this mental stress subcategory were made by workers in the occupational categories of Advanced clerical & service workers and General clerks. For the industries with the highest number/rate of mental stress claims, the majority of claims were for Work pressure. This was particularly true in the Education sector. Claims for Exposure to workplace or occupational violence were notable in the Retail trade industry, while the Transport & storage and Health & community services industries dominated claims for Exposure to a traumatic event.

4 Key Observation The full extent of mental stress in Australian workplaces (prevalence) is not known but is likely to be greater than indicated by workers’ compensation statistics because not all workers with mental stress apply for or receive compensation for their illness. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Work-related Injuries Survey 2009–10 showed that 70% of workers who reported they experienced work-related mental stress did not apply for workers’ compensation

5 Tasmanian Experience 2009 – 2012 All Claims “Mental Disease”

6 Mental Disease 2009 – 2012 TSS removed

7 Greater than 1 week of Lost time

8 Claims greater than 12 week of Lost time


10 Work Pressure

11 Work related harassment / bullying Trend would suggest that this is becoming more prevalent Not confined to specific industries These types of injuries are preventable

12 By Gender Females Males

13 Prevalence of Bullying “I just want it to stop – Australian Workplace Barometer 6.8% of employees surveyed in six months prior to survey Recent CPSU survey identified that 46% of TSS employees had witnessed bullying. Safework Australia 2009 – estimated 9% (NHEWS Study) NZ 2009 Study 3.9% - 17.6% The Australian Public Service Commission (the APSC) found that 17 per cent of staff had experienced harassment or bullying at work. The Assistant Commissioner of the Productivity Commission (the PC) stated that ‘it is probably higher than that... it could be over 15 per cent’.30 We are not capturing in whatever studies are done the actual rates of workplace bullying, which would be far higher than the 22 to 33 per cent that I have found the Productivity Commission estimates that workplace bullying costs the Australian economy between $6 billion and $36 billion annually

14 Self Labeling Can exacerbate health effects for low exposure Workers experience to intense bullying have the same health effect regardless of the labeling applied Typically when we measure bullying is via self labeling method or behavioral experience method Key to getting real data is in the use of a common definition

15 Definition of Bullying Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety Repeated behaviour refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can refer to a range of behaviours over time. Unreasonable behaviour means behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard for the circumstances, would see as victimising, humiliating, undermining or threatening. Bullying can involve many different forms of unreasonable behaviour, which can be obvious (direct) or subtle (indirect). What isn’t bullying? Reasonable management actions carried out in a fair and reasonable way are not bullying. Managers have a right to direct the way work is carried out and to monitor and give feedback on performance. Differences of opinion or personality clashes)are generally not considered to be bullying However, if the behaviour goes beyond a one-off disagreement, if it increases in intensity or becomes offensive or harmful to someone, it has the potential to escalate into bullying.

16 Fair Work Australia Government’s response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment’s report Workplace Bullying ―We just want it to stop. The Act will: allow a worker who has been bullied at work in a constitutionally-covered business to apply to the FWC for an order to stop the bullying; adopt a definition of ‘bullied at work’ which is consistent with the definition of ‘workplace bullying’ recommended by the Committee in its report, and the proposed Safe Work Australia model Code of Practice: Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying; require the FWC to start dealing with an application for an order to stop bullying within 14 days of the application being made; and enable the FWC to make any order it considers appropriate (other than an order for payment of a pecuniary amount) to stop the bullying.

17 Manage the Hazard Psychosocial hazardsDefinitionProbable alignment to TOOCS Revision 1 Mechanism Mental stress sub-categories Job content Lack of variety or short work cycles, fragmented or meaningless work, under use of skills, high uncertainty, continuous exposure to people through work Work pressure Other mental stress factors Work load & work place Work overload or under load, machine pacing, high levels of time pressure, continually subject to deadlines Work pressure Work schedule Shift working, night shifts, inflexible work schedules, unpredictable hours, long or unsociable hours Work pressure Other mental stress factors Control Low participation in decision making, lack of control over workload, pacing, etc. Work pressure Environment & equipment Inadequate equipment availability, suitability or maintenance; poor environmental conditions such as lack of space, poor lighting, excessive noise Other mental stress factors Organisational culture & function Poor communication, low levels of support for problem solving and personal development, lack of definition of, or agreement on, organizational objectives Work pressure Interpersonal relationships at work Social or physical isolation, poor relationships with superiors, interpersonal conflict, lack of social support, bullying, harassment Work-related harassment &/or workplace bullying Role in organization Role ambiguity, role conflict, and responsibility for people Work pressure Career development Career stagnation and uncertainty, under promotion or over promotion, poor pay, job insecurity, low social value to work Other mental stress factors Home-work interfaceConflicting demands of work and home, low support at home, dual career Other mental stress factors Sources: Leka & Jain (2010) and ASCC (2008)

18 What is your organisation doing? Does your organisation have an up-to-date policy that sets out standards of acceptable behaviour and defines bullying, sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination as potential workplace hazards? Does your organisation have a documented procedure for addressing complaints of workplace bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination? Does your organisation have trained contact persons to whom aggrieved employees can go and talk about their concerns? Do your policies provide for conflicts that do not reach the threshold of workplace bullying? Have all managers received training on their responsibilities to prevent and manage complaints of bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination? Has the organisation kept records of this training? Have all managers received training on merit based promotion and recruitment processes? Has the organisation kept records of this training? Have all employees received training on their rights and responsibilities in relation to bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination? Has the organisation kept records of this training? Does your organisation have a performance management policy and system of addressing poor performance? Have all managers and supervisors with line management responsibility received training in how to manage employee performance?

19 Looking Forward Fair Work Australia Amendments apply from 1 January 2014 WorkCover Tasmania developing a Strategy aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of Bullying Survey to determine “Tasmanian experience” – Identify issues Identification of areas where interventions can be applied to improve outcomes

20 Mental Disease Presentation June 2013 Brad Parker Assistant Director WorkCover Tasmania

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