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White-collar workers delivering the Andrews government’s huge pipeline of transport projects are being pushed to the brink of breakdown, recording stress and anxiety levels worse than many psychiatric patients, a report has found.
The psychological survey of almost 700 professionals working on Victorian infrastructure projects has found the expectation to work extreme hours under constant deadline pressure is endangering their mental health.
White-collar workers on projects like Melbourne's Metro Tunnel are severely stressed and anxious from overwork, a report says. CREDIT:NELL O'SHEA
The study, which has not been released publicly but was leaked to The Age, is the first of its kind to assess the psychological impact of work-related stress among white-collar workers such as directors, engineers and managers on Victoria’s major projects, including the Metro Rail Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and level crossing removal program.
It found levels of “mood disturbance” – anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue and confusion – within this sector of the workforce are 2½ times greater than normal, which is higher than average levels reported by psychiatric patients.
Rates of burnout within the industry are almost double normal levels, with 75 per cent of survey respondents recording high to moderate levels of stress.
The report, by Swinburne University psychologists Associate Professor Luke Downey and Professor Con Stough, surveyed 683 Victoria-based employees in eight companies that regularly bid for government contracts.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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