The 6th annual Psychosocial health and safety and bullying in Australian workplaces statement has been published by Safe Work Australia.
The statement identifies data trends in accepted workers’ compensation claims arising from mental stress, and specifically those arising from workplace bullying and harassment.
Highlights show that:
- the frequency rate (claims per 100 million hours work) of mental stress claims declined from 2002-03 to 2015-16, before rising again in recent years
- the rate for harassment and/or bullying claims (a subset of mental stress) has increased over the same period reaching 17.5 claims per million hours worked in 2018-19 (preliminary data).
Psychosocial health refers to the physical, mental and social state of a person. The prevalence of mental stress, bullying and harassment provides a limited indicator of the psychosocial health and safety status of Australian workplaces.
This is the sixth annual national statement issued to identify trends in psychosocial health and safety and bullying in Australian workplaces. The data presented in this statement are accepted workers’ compensation claims caused by mental stress.
This mechanism of injury or disease is assigned to claims when an employee has been exposed to one of a range of stressors such as harassment or bullying, traumatic events or unreasonable work pressure, that has caused an injury or disease. Mental stress claims provide a source of information on the psychosocial health and safety status of Australian workplaces.
The Bullying and Harassment in Australian Workplaces: Results from the Australian Workplace Barometer 2014–15 report showed that in 2014–15, 9.4 per cent of Australian workers participating in the survey reported being bullied at work in the previous six months.
In 2018, the Australian Human Rights Commission conducted a national survey to investigate the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces and the wider community. The survey found that 23 per cent of women and 16 per cent of men had experienced sexual harassment at work in the last 12 months.
Read the 6th annual Psychosocial health and safety and bullying in Australian workplaces statement.