Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

June 03, 2005 07:00 ET

Workplace stress an injury, not a disease

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - June 3, 2005) - It's about time the mental, emotional and physical damage caused by workplace stress is recognized for that it is - an injury and not a disease.

Researchers in Montreal today for the first Canadian conference for research on mental health in the workplace will be encouraged to do just that by Executive Vice-President Marie Clarke Walker, who will be there to represent the labour movement.

"Recognizing the workplace as a stressor is long overdue," says Clarke Walker. "Once workplace stress is seen as an injury, its causes can be removed the same way we already deal with other hazzards like harassment, dangerous equipment, toxic materials and unsafe working conditions."

Clarke Walker says that if researchers categorize stress as an injury, it would bring an end to the discrimination experienced by workers whose stress-related injuries render them unable to work but who are denied assistance from Workers' Compensation Boards because they are deemed to be sick rather than hurt. However, she also cautions researchers to not reinvent the wheel over the course of their work.

"This move is long overdue, but I would like to remind you that there is already an outlook and a set of worker values on mental injury at work which has spawned its own set of research perspectives, findings and prescriptions for social change. Some are gender-based, for example," says Clarke-Walker.

The first conference for research on mental health in the workplace takes place June 3 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Montreal. Clarke-Walker's panel, which includes representatives from labour, the insurance industry, health researchers and workplace safety institutes, sits from 10:45 a.m. until noon.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site: IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Jeff Atkinson, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7425
    Secondary Phone: 613-863-1413