Women suffering more mental work injuries

Matt Coughlan
·1-min read

Women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer a mental injury at work, according to the latest compensation data.

Australian workers' compensation statistics for 2018/19 break down the 114,435 serious claims made in Australia during the period.

Mental stress was the direct cause of eight per cent of claims, but women were over-represented at 13 per cent.

Of men's serious claims, five per cent were triggered by mental stress.

Diseases were responsible for 13 per cent of serious claims, with mental health conditions making up around two thirds in that category.

Women made more than double the mental health conditions claims than men.

Overall, serious mental health compensation applications were up 28 per cent compared with the previous year.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is highlighting the issue ahead of a meeting of workplace safety ministers from around the country.

Unions are pushing for the inclusion of mental hazard regulations in federal workplace health and safety law.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the figures showed the need for more to be done to help employers understand obligations around protecting workers' mental health.

"Every Australian has a right to be safe at their place of work and that extends beyond physical injury," she told AAP.

She said the over-representation of women in mental health injuries needed to be addressed.

"We need to protect every person whose job has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and women are over-represented in these jobs," Ms McManus said.