Mental health issues are a growing concern in the workplace, especially for workers exposed to graphic content or traumatic events. This is evident in the case of CCC Digital Services, where 20% of staff are on sick leave due to psychological trauma.
[Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide and other mental health conditions]
Other workers at risk include rail employees, who are exposed to accidents and suicides.
Mental health is important for productivity, engagement, and creativity. Employers have a duty of care to protect employee mental health.
This article will discuss the mental health impact of content moderation work, the rail industry, and the importance of workplace mental health support.
CCC Barcelona Digital Services Staff Experiencing Mental Health Issues
According to a recent report by Euronews, more than 20% of the staff at CCC Digital Services, a company hired by Meta to check the content of Facebook and Instagram, are on sick leave due to psychological trauma. This is due to the nature of the work, which involves viewing graphic content such as disturbing videos and livestreams.
The employees have criticised the working conditions imposed by CCC Digital Services, which leave them extremely exposed to serious mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression from the mental toll that comes with the job.
In an interview with Euronews, lawyer Francesc Feliu, who is representing more than a dozen workers who have decided to sue the company, said: “We are talking about people who were healthy and suddenly these mental disorders appear. Some of these workers have attempted suicide.”
The case of CCC Digital Services highlights the need for more to be done to protect the mental health of content moderators. Social media companies need to provide better support services to their employees and ensure that they are not working in conditions that could put their mental health at risk.
Mental Health and UK Workers
Mental health issues are a significant concern in the UK workforce, with more than one in six people experiencing a mental health issue in the workplace each year according to the Mental Health Foundation. Similar to content moderators, rail employees are particularly vulnerable to mental health issues, due to the nature of their work.
Train drivers are exposed to a range of potentially traumatic events, including:
- Witnessing accidents and suicides
- Dealing with aggressive passengers
- Working long and irregular hours
- Experiencing exposure to noise and vibration
These events can have a devastating impact on the mental health of train drivers. A study by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) found that 41% of train drivers had experienced a traumatic event and that 10% reported symptoms consistent with a clinical post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can cause a range of symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. It can make it difficult to work, socialise, and enjoy life.
The RSSB study also found that rail employees who experienced a traumatic event were more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety. This suggests that traumatic events can have a significant impact on the mental health of rail employees, even if they do not develop PTSD.
Mental Health at Work: Why It’s Important in Every Industry
Mental health is important in every industry, regardless of the type of work that is being done. When employees are mentally healthy, they are more productive, engaged, and creative. They are also less likely to take sick days or leave their jobs.
Under UK law, employers have a legal duty of care towards their employees. This means that they have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. This duty of care extends to both physical and mental health.
Mental health is important at work because it affects productivity, engagement, creativity, and absenteeism. Employees with good mental health are more productive, engaged, creative, and satisfied with their jobs. They are also less likely to experience stress and burnout. This can lead to a number of benefits for employers, including reduced absenteeism and turnover, increased productivity, and improved morale.
There are a number of things that employers can do to support the mental health of their employees, such as:
- Creating a supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable talking about their mental health.
- Providing training on mental health to managers and employees.
- Offering access to mental health support services, such as counselling and therapy.
By taking these steps, employers can help to create a more productive and engaged workforce.