How does workers' compensation treat employee burnout?

Incessant workplace stress has become a recognized cause of employee burnout. Workers across all industries in California and the rest of the country are at risk. According to the World Health Organization, burnout syndrome is a diagnosable occupational disease. However, federal and state safety authorities have not yet established safety standards to prevent burnout, nor does the syndrome feature in the list of occupational illnesses covered by workers' compensation.

WHO used the term burnout syndrome in an occupational context as opposed to other areas of people's lives. The syndrome has three identified characteristics:depleted energy, negative mental attitude toward one's job and a lowered professional efficacy. Health authorities note that multiple facets of safety and performance are affected by burnout syndrome.

The vulnerability comes from decreased awareness of workplace surroundings and losing sight of safety practices. This could lead to poor driving, negligent use of heavy machinery or other dangerous equipment, all contributing to increased risks for work-related injuries. The lack of focus can also affect the safety of co-workers.

California workers who are exposed to unremitting workplace stress might be concerned about their eligibility for workers' compensation benefits to cover burnout syndrome. Until this condition is added to the list of covered occupational illnesses, only workplace injuries that result from the lack of focus caused by the syndrome will likely be covered. Of course, workers can seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help them obtain the benefits to which they are entitled under applicable laws.

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