Released: 2nd April 2009
On Tuesday, a majority of members of the Occupational Diseases Committee recognised three out of eight workers" compensation claims on depression caused by stress.
A common feature of the three recognised claims is that constantly, and for a long period of time, there has been severe work pressure with short and difficult deadlines and lacking support from colleagues and bosses. On the other hand, those involved in the cases come from very different trades and jobs. One is a service manager, another a pharmaconomist, whereas the third recognised claim pertains to a medical consultant.
"These decisions are the first small step towards a practice for how to process claims on the Committee in future. But the Committee is in unknown territory, so before we can announce a practice, it is necessary that the Committee should be given a chance of assessing another series of claims. Therefore we are at the moment preparing more claims on depression and stress, which will be submitted to the Committee later this year," says Anne Lind Madsen, Director General of the National Board of Industrial Injuries (Arbejdsskadestyrelsen).
The background for the Committee"s handling of the claims is a review in the field made last year for the National Board of Industrial Injuries by executive medical consultant, Dr.med. Bo Netterstrøm, and trainee specialist, Dr.med. Nicole Conrad, from the Clinic of Occupational Medicine in Hillerød, Denmark.
The review showed that stress after a long time of mental pressure in the workplace can lead to depression. The stress needs to have involved high demands or lack of social support at work, for instance in the form of frequent and very hard deadlines, constant pressure from very demanding clients or inmates, and/or lack of support from colleagues or management.
Press Officer Birgitte Lyhne +45 26 97 15 32