AZ Hurt On the Job 2First things first: Let’s clear up a common misunderstanding. Despite what some may believe, psychiatric or psychological injuries that take place in work environments or directly result from work-related activities are every bit as much of a work injury as a physical injury. In fact, there are even three different sorts of psychiatric injuries, including mental/mental, physical/mental, and mental/physical. “A mental/mental claim involves a psychological occurrence while working, leading to a psychological injury or condition,” HR.BLR.com explains. Likewise, a physical/mental injury is a psychiatric condition or trauma resulting from a physical injury, and a mental/physical injury is a physical ailment, hurt, or strain resulting from stress, trauma, or an emotional event.

Now that these definitions are out of the way, let’s talk about what’s most important: How can companies take action to prevent and minimize these injuries?

Establish An Open-Minded Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

In the past, conventional wisdom counseled businesses and upper management to send out the message to “sweep it under the rug.” In other words, workers have largely been held responsible for setting aside personal problems and family problems once they step in the door, but that’s not always practical. What’s more, it can cause even more serious problems. Employers have several different approaches to solve this problem. Some allow a set number of personal days and enable employees to call in with absolutely zero questions asked. Others offer confidential and free talk therapy sessions either in-person or over the phone.

Respond To Trauma Appropriately And In A Timely Fashion

IAZ Hurt On the Job 2f a traumatic event does occur, do what you can to protect employees’ mental health. Offer group and/or individual counseling and let employees know that they have your full support.

In 2013, employees missed an average of eight days of work each owing to 917,100 occupational injuries. Many of these injuries likely resulted in some workers compensation (sometimes even 100% of medical bills and lost wages). Do what you can to minimize injuries, and do not forget that psychiatry injuries are just as important and just as worthy of compensation.