Train drivers have the toughest job in the country

passengers behaving badly by running across train tracks at the Salisbury interchange during peak hour rush

STRESS. It’s public enemy number one – the thing we worry about more than our finances, family, future and relationships.

For most people, their jobs are the main source, and it can lead to a variety of conditions from burnout and fatigue, to anxiety, heart disease and diabetes. It also costs a fortune, with an estimated $15 billion lost to the economy each year due to stress-related issues.

So what jobs stress us out the most?

Statistics from Safe Work Australia based on the number of accepted claims for workers compensation for mental stress-related issues show one job stands out as being particularly hard.

Train drivers have the toughest job in the country, according to the data, with 1025 claims made per 100 million hours worked – about 26 times more than the average job for males.

“For males, drivers of public transport in particular train drivers had very high rates of workers’ compensation claims arising from mental stress. This is likely due to the unfortunately large number of suicides witnessed by these workers on the rail network,” a Safe Work Australia spokesperson said, adding that the high incidence for males is likely because there are more men than women in the job.

For both men and women, law and order professions like police offers, security guards and paramedics were also extremely difficult, with the largest number of claims made for work related issues like general pressure, bullying and exposure to harassment and violence.

“Occupations associated with high rates of workers’ compensation claims arising from mental stress tended to involve work where there are high levels of personal responsibility for the welfare of other people and where there is potential exposure to dangerous situations,” the spokesperson said.

“The main point to note is in many of these occupations (both male and female) workers may have very little control over their exposure to traumatic events or aggressive or abusive people.”

High risk jobs for men

  • Train drivers and assistants
  • Police, ambulance officers and paramedics
  • Prison officers, welfare and community workers
  • Fire fighters, bus and tram drivers
  • General clerks and nursing assistants
  • Special care workers and secondary school teachers
  • Guards and security officers
  • Primary school teachers and education mangers

High risk jobs for women

  • Police and prison officers
  • Ambulance officers & paramedics
  • Welfare, community workers and social workers
  • Secondary school teachers and special education teachers
  • Personal care and nursing assistants
  • General clerks and customer service managers
  • Vocational education teachers and education aides
  • Enrolled nurses and education managers

Source: The Australian, Victoria Craw – 10 September 2013