Victoria has recorded a shift in the distribution of workers compensation claims, with stress-related claims overtaking wounds to become the State's third-most-common reason for compensated time off work.

Among the statistics, obtained from Victoria Work Cover in an exclusive report from Fairfax Media,* was a finding that, of the 26,500 injuries reported in the state in 2013-14, 3,056 were for mental disorders.

This compares to 9,554 musculoskeletal injuries recorded in the same time and 4,597 traumatic joint injuries. Wounds, which have been overtaken by workplace stress, recorded only 3,029 injuries, causing it to drop to fourth place overall.

These findings highlight the importance of addressing stress in the workplace, as the number of people reporting this condition has continued to increase. it is worth noting that these figures only reveal reported claims, with the possibility for a lot of stress to go unreported.

Between 2008-09 and these most recent figures, the injury rates for other main categories have either been holding steady or declining. For example, the number of injuries from musculoskeletal injuries has dropped – in fact by $60 million for Victoria.

The cost of injuries has also increased, even though the total number of injuries has decreased across the State. The cost of workplace-related injuries has risen, even though the incident rate has dropped by 2,000 in that time. In fact, the 

With the national cost of workplace stress reaching more than $14 billion, and costing employees three days of work every year, there is a real need to address stressful working conditions.

To assist companies to address this serious workplace issue, WorkPro has developed a practical e-book on the topic. With useful statistics, legislative outline and advice, the resource provides clear guidance to help establish a robust program to address this issue.

*The Age Victoria, Job stress compo claims surge to $273 million, published October 21 2014.

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