Bullying in the Workplace Leads to Escalation in Mental Stress Claims

Australia ( August 17, 2011

Bullying in the Workplace Leads to Escalation in Mental Stress Claims

Bullying in the Workplace Leads to Escalation in Mental Stress Claims

With mental stress claims in the workplace on the rise and the direct correlation of bullying being a direct instigator of this medical condition.

The Federal work health and safety regulator Comcare has targeted this ongoing workplace issue along with several other occupational health and safety issues, in its Work Health and Safety Plan for the current financial year.

As Comcare focuses on improving work health and safety conditions amongst the large number of Australian federal employers, the regulator has identified four key priority areas.

The areas covered include worker health, preventing harm, stronger enforcement, and a smooth transition to national work health and safety laws.

Comcare’s Work Health and Safety General Manager, Neil Quarmby, stated, “This is a major change in the way Comcare delivers its services.”

“Our new regulation model highlights the importance of preventing workplace injuries. This year we’ll deliver strong enforcement outcomes, but also commit to stopping workers getting harmed in the first place.”

This includes an initiative to target federal employers with poor workplace cultures with relation to drug and alcohol harm.

Also on the agenda is a workplace bullying campaign which will address the recent growth in mental stress claims.

“We’re targeting workplaces where bullying is just ‘how things work’, and we’ll be working with employers where alcohol harm is a known risk in the workplace. We’re sending the message that it’s not OK, that it’s unacceptable,” Mr Quarmby says.

Harmonised work health and safety laws due to start on 1 January 2012 are also a major priority.

Comcare will re-train its inspectors to exercise new powers under the laws, such as providing assistance to victims and families involved in workplace harm.

Mr Quarmby says harmonisation will reduce red tape on a national level and help regulators such as Comcare improve the way it deals with workplace incidents.

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