80% working people made ill at work: Australian survey

Canberra: Four in five working people in Australia are exposed to unsafe work practices as they have been injured, become ill, or both due to traumatic situations at work, reveals a survey.

The survey, ‘Work Shouldn’t Hurt’, released by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) on Monday included 26,000 workers, reported Xinhua.

The survey revealed that nearly 80 per cent of working people have been injured, become ill, or both because of their work whereas 16 per cent knew someone who was killed at work or by a work-related disease.

It also found that 47 per cent of respondents were exposed to either traumatic or distressing situations at work in the last 12 months and 31 per cent said they have been abused, threatened or assaulted by co-workers, clients or customers.

Three out of five workers said they experienced poor mental health in the last 12 months as a result of their employer failing to address unsafe working conditions.

Liam O’Brien, the ACTU assistant secretary, told Fairfax Media on Monday that the incidence of injuries and poor mental health were “entirely avoidable.”

“Work shouldn’t hurt anyone – mentally, or physically,” he said.

“The Work Shouldn’t Hurt survey reveals that too many working people are experiencing violence, traumatic events and poor working conditions at work and most of it is preventable,” he added.

While 61 per cent of workers experienced poor mental health because of work only nine per cent made a workers’ compensation claim for it and of those that did only a third were approved.

More than half the 26,000 respondents said they were aware of conditions in their workplace that could cause injury or illness.