Job strain exposures vs. stress-related workers’ compensation claims in Victoria, Australia: Developing a public health response to job stress Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • We present a comparative analysis of patterns of exposure to job stressors and stress-related workers' compensation (WC) claims to provide an evaluation of the adequacy of claims-driven policy and practice. We assessed job strain prevalence in a 2003 population-based survey of Victorian [Australia] workers and compared these results with stress-related WC statistics for the same year. Job strain prevalence was higher among females than males, and elevated among lower vs. higher occupational skill levels. In comparison, claims were higher among females than males, but primarily among higher skill-level workers. There was some congruence between exposure and WC claims patterns. Highly exposed groups in lower socio-economic positions were underrepresented in claims statistics, suggesting that the WC insurance perspective substantially underestimates the job stress problems for these groups. Thus to provide a sufficient evidence base for equitable policy and practice responses to this growing public health problem, exposure or health outcome data are needed as an essential complement to claims statistics.

publication date

  • April 2009