Nursing and Teaching the Most Stressful Professions

Nursing and Teaching the Most Stressful Professions

AAP General News Wire, Australia

July 22, 2009

Nurses, social workers and teachers have the most stressful jobs, compensation statistics show.

Preliminary figures from Safe Work Australia show 970 female workers in the health and community services sector made compensation claims due to mental stress in 2006/07.

A total of 6,255 workers across all sectors made a compensation claim for mental stress in the 12-month period.

Among male employees, 400 claims were made in the transport and storage sector, while 340 were made in the education sector.

Lifeline Australia said compensation payouts for stress were nearly three times as high as the median compensation payouts, and the time taken off for stress was double the average of all workplace injuries.

They say it costs the Australian economy $15 billion a year.

Lifeline spokesman Chris Wagner says Australia’s nurses and social workers are constantly under the pump.

“It’s no surprise that people are taking workers’ comp due to mental stress,” Mr Wagner told.

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“People are working very long hours and they’re dealing with very emotional situations.

“It’s a very stressful industry. It’s a very stressful sector.”

Mr Wagner said it was up to bosses and employees to help make the working environment less stressful.

“We all have a personal role to play in managing our own stress levels,” he said.

“But I think employers also have a role in keeping an eye on their workforce and making sure that their workforce isn’t getting too stressed.”

He urged workplaces to take part in Stress Down Day on Friday, saying small gestures such as allowing staff to wear silly clothing could make big differences.

“People are most stressed when they are at work,” Mr Wagner said.

“We want people to whack on their slippers to work or school.

“A goofy thing like that can make that little bit of a mental break.”

For more information on Stress Down Day, visit

© YellowBrix 2009

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