Introduction

Workplace bullying of employees by management, other staff or even by the public they interact with has been prominent in the news in recent times. The #metoo movement has highlighted the issue of sexual harassment where mostly women (but sometimes men) are subjected to unwanted advances and comments, making them feel unsafe or compromised. Sustained over time, this may lead to psychological issues such as agoraphobia, depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. The stress that such workers may experience in the workplace may be exacerbated if there is no clear means to report such incidences without fear of repercussion.

Likewise, bullying by supervisors or other staff may also result in psychological injury when sustained over time and without recourse to an independent means of review (e.g by Human Resources). Workers may be bullied about not achieving unrealistic performance targets, refusing long, additional or weekend shifts or working after hours, or for less pay.

Bullying may be motivated by prejudices related to race, gender, sexuality, religion, class, ethnic group, age, political persuasion or in response to physical appearance or disabilities, and can lead to psychological injury.

Another cause of psychological injury is if the workplace is unsafe or workers are exposed to disturbing practices without being offered counselling. For example, working in a morgue, a children’s leukaemia ward, as a paramedic, in emergency response or in an abattoir may all be high-candidate workplaces for trauma.

Psychological injury includes a range of cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms that interfere with a worker’s mental health and can significantly affect how they feel, think, behave and interact with others. Psychological injury may include such disorders as depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Employers should intervene to manage a work situation whenever signs of job stress or distress are first noticed. Early signs may include increased unplanned absences, withdrawal or deteriorating work performance. Intervention at this early stage such as providing appropriate support and identifying and addressing workplace issues that may be causing or contributing to psychological distress can often prevent a situation deteriorating and a worker developing a psychological injury.

At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget.

Expertise in Action

Experts in psychological injury can provide opinion on what support systems can be put in place to address concerns by employees before a psychological injury is sustained.

They can also evaluate workers to examine the extent of their injury, any relevant restrictions relating to return to work, level of permanent impairment and causation.

Sample Reports

For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.

Cost

The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
  • Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Relevant Articles Australian workers 'grin and bear' it in silent workplace bullying epidemic

Traditionally, workplace safety campaigns have focused on preventing physical injuries or deaths in agricultural and blue-collar industries like construction, but have ignored workplace bullying and sexual harassment.

Workers’ Compensation Legislation And Psychological Injury – Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides a general overview of the employer’s role under workers’ compensation legislation in relation to psychological injuries. All jurisdictions have separate workers’ compensation acts and regulations.

Relevant Cases Milevska and Comcare (Compensation) [2018] AATA 2141

A worker was trapped in a lift for an hour after it fell sharply and then refused to open. She claimed she had become anxious and depressed as a result. The court found that liability should be accepted for the psychological injury.

Related Blog Articles

Profiles of Experts in Work health safety - Psychological injury

Below are short profiles of a few experts with expertise in this field. Please contact our office to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget. Expert Experts are experts in finding the right expert for your needs and you pay no more to use Expert Experts than if you searched and found the expert yourself.

  • #ID8109

Psychologist

ID8109 is a registered psychologist specialising in workplace injury matters and behaviour modification. More specifically, his focus is on human behaviour in workplace environments, and how modification techniques can be used to alter the way in which workplaces function and to prevent workplace psychological injuries.


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