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Workplace stress cost Aussies $30 billion a year

Melbourne, Wed, 14 Mar 2012 ANI

Melbourne, Mar 14 (ANI): Being overburdened with work and mental stress costs Australians over 30 billion dollars per year, which is half the total cost of workplace injury bill, a new study has revealed.


A comprehensive study of workplace fatalities, injuries and illness put the cost at 60.6 billion dollars a year, reported.


Physical and psychological stress has surpassed other forms of injury and illness and the long-term cost in lost productivity and compensation is worn by workers and the community.


According to the report, while the number of workplace fatalities dropped in 2009-10 during the global financial crisis to a record low of 216, signs were increasing again.


This week, Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten will announce a campaign to encourage workers to raise their voice about safety, and call for annual reporting to Parliament.


The Safe Work Australia study divulged that when "body stressing" and "mental stress" are combined, they add up to half of the cost of job-related injury and illness.


The cost of workplace illness among managers and administrators was 9.6 billion dollars a year, injuries to labourers 7.9 billion dollars and to tradespeople, 10.6 billion dollars.


The report showed the cost of workplace death and injury was presently worth around 5 per cent of Australia's total economic output.


However, the data did not draw a direct link between longer hours and illness and injury.


"Over one-third of the total number of cases and total economic cost are associated with body stressing or manual-handling cases," the Safe Work report said.


"Mechanisms more associated with disease, such as sound and pressure, biological factors and mental stress, have a higher unit cost than those associated with injuries (such as falls and trips).


"While mental stress cases comprise 4 per cent of the ... cases, they contribute 9 per cent of the total cost."


Research by talent management firm SHL found that only 29 per cent of workers with a good manager take days off when they are not sick, compared with 35 per cent who rate their manager's performance as below par.


One-third of employees insist that having too much responsibility or "burnout" is a cause for them to take sick leave when they are not ill. It topped the list of reasons to take a sick day. (ANI)


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