Work stress - we don't need it
We are under pressure to work harder and faster. Too many workers are facing increasing workloads, longer hours, job insecurity, understaffing, stress, bullying, deficient management and poor work organization.
People are feeling mental stress on top of physical work strain. Work stress can cause muscle tension, headaches and chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, arms and backs. Stress can also make existing injuries and pain worse.
More people are likely to be suffering from work strain when workers have little or no say in how work is done. And, when people feel they have no choice but to keep on working while injured or in pain, the injuries persist and the pain just gets worse.
Stress + strain = real pain
There's no need for it
There have been health and safety laws in Australian states and territories for more than 15 years. These laws are meant to prevent work strain injuries, but many employers do not follow them and governments are not enforcing them.
Despite the huge number of musculoskeletal injuries caused by work strain, less than 1% of the employers who caused them have been prosecuted.
What are employers doing
Too many employers are talking about workers needing to lift properly, to practice stress management, or they 'rotate' workers from one unsafe job to another. These 'solutions' do not prevent work strain.
On top of this, employers often intimidate and blame workers for being injured or in pain, when work strain is the cause.
Common symptoms of work strain
- painful necks and shoulders
- aching or stabbing pains in arms or wrists
- feelings of pins and needles
- aching legs, knees and feet
- backaches and back injuries
- stress or tension headaches
- continual tiredness / exhaustion
For more information, contact the union, or call the
ACTU Hotline on 1300 362 223
Union workplaces are safer places