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WHO: employee burnout now a diagnosable condition

Many workers in Oregon feel exhausted by their job to the point where they can no longer concentrate on it and carry out their duties professionally. They may regard their job in a mentally distant way and hold negative or cynical thoughts about it. These symptoms suggest a condition called burnout, and according to the World Health Organization, it is now diagnosable.

The WHO defines it, in its occupational context only, as a syndrome that arises from work-related stress that has not been successfully managed. It may be one day that the condition will be classed as an occupational illness, which could make it easier for workers to file a claim over it.

The symptoms related above can manifest themselves in various ways: unsafe driving, misuse of heavy machinery, failure to meet deadlines and even fighting with other employees. Burnt-out workers tend to feel anxious, have low morale and have trouble concentrating. They may start to use drugs or abuse alcohol. Employers and managers who directly supervise their employees should watch for these signs and offer support where needed.

Currently, there is no OSHA standard on burnout. However, employers are advised to set up new training and employee assistance programs to those suffering from burnout. They could also provide paid time off.

When it comes to filing a workers' compensation claim, several steps must be taken. Employees must report their injury to their employer and let management know that they will file a claim. The injury must be connected with workplace conditions. No one's negligence needs to be proven to be eligible for benefits. All the same, victims may want a lawyer for advice and guidance because employers have the right to deny payment if they believe employees were to blame for their own injuries.

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