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Burnout among workers now a diagnosable condition

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

Chronic and ill-managed workplace stress can cause employees to suffer burnout. The condition can be seen across a wide range of industries, and it has become so widespread in recent years that the World Health Organization has officially called it a diagnosable condition. Florida workers should know that it has not necessarily been called an occupational illness yet.

Still, this step could prompt employers to do something about managing and treating burnout among their workforce. WHO defines burnout as a syndrome characterized by three things: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, a growing detachment from one’s work and a decline in one’s ability to get the job done. Burnt-out workers can be irritable, anxious and prone to cynical or negative thoughts about their work.

Burnout impacts employee safety, too, as workers suffering from the condition may misuse heavy machinery, drive inattentively or respond sluggishly to emergency situations. They may also get into fights with co-workers. It doesn’t help that burnt-out employees are additionally at a higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse.

OSHA has no standards regarding burnout, so employers must take the initiative. It all starts with talking with employees about the syndrome and making sure everyone knows the symptoms. Employers can create employee assistance programs and even provide pain time off work for burnt-out workers.

There is the possibility that burnt-out workers can file a workers’ compensation claim and be covered for whatever medical expenses they incurred as well as for a portion of the wages they lost. Proving burnout can still be tricky, and victims may have their claim denied if they are seen as being to blame for their own condition. This is why hiring a lawyer may be a good idea. The lawyer may assist with filing an appeal.