New report highlights impact of work-related mental disorders

New report highlights impact of work-related mental disorders

Work-related mental disorders cost the national economy nearly half a billion dollars a year according to a new report published by Safe Work Australia.

Other work-related mental disorders statistics highlighted in the report include:

  • 7820 workers compensated each year, accounting for 6 per cent of workers’ compensation claims
  • $480 million total claims payments
  • $23,600 is the typical compensation payment per claim
  • 14.8 weeks is the typical time off work
  • 90 per cent of mental disorder claims are attributed to mental stress
  • 39 per cent of mental disorder claims are caused by harassment, bullying or exposure to violence.

The report provides a concise and factual statistical profile of mental disorders as compensated by Australian workers’ compensation schemes. It shows statistics on how many Australians are awarded a mental disorder claim each year to allow estimation of societal and system impacts. It also showcases other important statistics including claim rates and proportions to enable estimation of relative risks among groups of workers.

Encouragingly, the reports identifies that mental disorder claim costs and rates may have started trending downwards after a prolonged period of growth. Other highlights of the report include:

  • female workers have 2.3 times the number of claims per million hours worked compared with male workers
  • 65 per cent of mental disorder claims awarded to workers aged 40 and over
  • 64 per cent of mental disorder claims arise from 4 out of 19 industries:
    • public administration and safety (21 per cent)
    • education and training (14 per cent)
    • health care and social assistance (21 per cent)
    • transport, postal and warehousing (8 per cent)
  • 46 per cent of mental disorder claims from the transport, postal and warehousing industry are associated with a vehicle accident
  • 17 per cent of mental disorder claims awarded to female workers were made by school teachers or health and welfare support workers
  • women defence force members, fire fighters, and police have a 16 times higher than average claim rate.




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