At Preston Miller Lawyers we say that employers should understand their obligations when there is a physical hazard. They should also remain aware of their responsibilities in relation to a potential psychological hazard or injury. There is mounting evidence showing workplace stress is having a significant impact on the health of workers, occupational job strain could be responsible for more than a third of cardiovascular disease in men and one in three cases of depression among women.
Job stress has been linked to increased absenteeism, high turnover, and greater compensation rates, in order for employers to meet their obligations they must be sensitive to the well being of there workers.
Hazards to psychological health include unreasonable workload expectations, unreasonable work hours, bullying, harassment, lack of proper monitoring and supervision, lack of proper systems and processes, and insufficient education and training.
We also recognize people can be depressed due to non work related causes but stress in the work environment should not exacerbate the condition.
Most workers are aware of their rights, if they suffer a physical injury, but most don’t understand their rights with a stress related claim without physical harm.
In making a stress related claim:
A worker must prove that he is suffering a recognizable psychiatric injury that is ongoing and diagnosable by proper medical evidence.
It must have been foreseeable and the employer has not taken reasonable duty of care to prevent psychiatric injuries to their workers.
It must be shown that the worker did not have pre-existing illness as this will make it harder to prove, but not impossible.
In work situations it has been shown what the employer should have done to prevent psychiatric illness from occurring; for example the worker was not overburdened by heavy workload, should the employer had provided training or assistance to a worker dealing with aggressive customers etc
The worker must be able to prove the direct cause of his or her condition in relation to breach of duty of care by the employer and that it has not been caused by other factors: example, marriage breakup, death of a loved one.
Also if it was work related was post – traumatic counseling provided to the worker and if not show that if it had been provided the risk of injury would have been reduced.
This area of law cannot be determined by just a quick look at the facts you will have to talk to one of our friendly solicitors at Preston Miller Lawyers to access your individual case.
Stress related cases can be often difficult to pursue not involving a physical injury and victims are often misunderstood in some cases and treated with contempt by employers and society. Workers should not be discouraged from having their case looked at and determined whether their legal rights can be exercised, just get over it is not good enough a psychiatric injury is very real and can lead to future ill health. Please contact one of our friendly staff a Preston Miller Lawyers as soon as possible for an appointment to discuss your circumstances, remember the first appointment is free and with no obligations.