A recent study out of the University College London has found that workers who work longer hours are jeopardising their health and face increased risk of serious health conditions such as stroke and heart disease.
The research, conducted by Professor Mika Kivimaki, considered the working habits of over 600,000 individuals from Europe, the USA and Australia. It found that people who work between 41 and 48 hours per week had a 10% higher risk of stroke than the rest of the population. Those who work between 49 and 54 hours a week had a 27% higher risk of stroke, and those working 55 hours or more a week had the most serious risk, with an increase of 33% compared to the rest of the population.
The survey also considered other dangerous health conditions and found that workers with an average working week of 55 hours or more have a 13% increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. The results translate into particularly bad news for Australian workers, with The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development finding that Australians work some of the longest full-time hours in the developed world.
In Victoria, you can make a claim for compensation if you suffer an injury such as a heart attack or stroke because of your employment. However, the test is higher than most ordinary injuries, with employees required to establish that work was a significant contributing factor to the development of the heart condition or stroke, as opposed to other injuries which just require work to be a cause . Just because you are on work premises at the time of the heart attack or stroke does not automatically mean that it will be accepted by the Victorian WorkCover Authority.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury which you think may be work-related, we invite you to speak to one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.