Workcover claims drop but mental health claims increase

Whilst employee numbers have increased by almost 20% in 2018-2019, Workcover claims have declined by 12%. Although men account for more physical injuries sustained, women account for a higher proportion of diseases such as mental health. Women are three times as likely to sustain mental health injuries at work as men.

Healthcare & social assistance were the top industries where women are disproportionately injured compared to male colleagues with women also having higher claims in the education & training sector.

Statistics highlight the need for work health & safety regulations in the workplace that address mental health hazards, there are over 20 formal workplace health & safety regulations that provide guidance for physical hazards, but none for mental health hazards.

It is expected that the 2019-20 statistics with the Covid-19 pandemic will create a number of unprecedented issues that affect mental health & well-being as well as reliance on essential services & their workers. The latest figures illustrate the need for regulations that help employers understand their obligations when it comes to the mental health of their workers.

With an increase in conversations around the importance of sound mental health & well-being, our workplace health & safety standards should evolve to reflect that.