Queensland teachers most stressed workers

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Stressed worker

Safe Work Australia (SWA) statistics show that teachers are Queensland’s most stressed workers, with more mental stress claims than any other industry.

SWA has reported applications for mental stress compensation leapt by a third in 2009-10 as teachers cracked under the pressure of classroom life.

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said the tension was exacerbated by false public perceptions that teachers had an easy life and knocked off at 3pm.

“They work incredibly long hours coping with very difficult circumstances while trying to resolve a whole range of society’s ills at the same time as providing children with a quality education,” said Mr Bates.

WorkCover Queensland Customer services manager Tim Meadows said work-related stress is the physical, mental and emotional reactions of workers who perceive that their work demands exceed their abilities and/or their resources to do the work.

“Work-related stress occurs when a worker perceives that they are not coping in situations where it is important to them that they cope,

“Workers can experience stress if they perceive that they have little control over their work and their work environment, and do not feel supported in their workplace,” said Mr Meadows.

The key to reducing the effects of work-related stress is to understand what organisational, environmental and individual characteristics may lead to stress in the first place.

“When it comes to managing the risks of work-related stress, employers will be particularly dependent upon input from their workers to identify and address stressors at work,

“Employers will see clear benefits from communicating with, and involving employees in the risk identification process,” said Mr Meadows.

For more information on organisational and environmental risk factors on work-related stress, see Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s Overview of work-related stress. For tips on implementing a work-related stress risk management process, see Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s guide.

Last updated
28 April 2016