Employee well-being is a much-discussed issue in Minnesota companies, including such factors as workplace safety and risk. How do mental health topics affect safety in the workplace? During a recent Insurance Journal webinar, several industry experts indicated that maintaining workplace environments that help employees perform at their highest level is crucial.
Employee burnout is increasingly common
Over the last several years, a significant increase in the number of workers reporting mental health conditions to their employers has occurred, resulting in potential workers’ compensation claims. Currently, about one in three workers have reported that their mental health has suffered when their employers have required them to transition back to an office environment from an in-home situation. Another situation that has skyrocketed is employee burnout, which includes feelings of exhaustion, disengagement and depleted energy levels. As many as 41% of American workers have expressed feeling this way. One webinar participant also indicated that some workers who reported mental health issues have also reported higher physical injury claims.
Workers’ compensation statistics
Several strong trends have developed over the last few years. These include:
- First-year employees account for 34% of workers’ compensation claims
- Employee wages are a driving factor in claim cost
- An increased number of workdays missed per employee due to workers’ compensation claims
Are mental health claims part of worker’s compensation?
Mental health claims can be part of workers’ compensation in some cases. The claim must arise out of the course of an employee’s work activities. For example, first responders who witness a catastrophic event and must deal with the psychological fallout may be able to file a claim. Nevertheless, filing a workers’ compensation claim for mental health issues can be challenging as a physical component to these issues usually doesn’t exist.
A culture of health and well-being is part of the solution to mental health issues. However, if your employer or the workers’ compensation insurer doesn’t recognize your need for mental health services, you may have a viable lawsuit to pursue that could award you for pain and suffering and back wages if you could not work.