Firefighting listed as the most stressful occupation


Firefighting has been listed as the most stressful occupation in 2015 ahead of Enlisted Military Personnel and Military General.

The respected Forbes magazine has reported the 100 most stressful occupations which are determined against criteria including:

  • Life of another at risk
  • Own life at risk
  • Level of contact with the publi
  • Hazards encountered
  • Environmental conditions
  • Physical demands
  • Working in the public eye
  • Competitiveness
  • Growth potential and Income

Last year Enlisted Military Personal and Military General were ranked the most stressful jobs with firefighting coming in third.

The continued high-ranking and this year’s title confirms what firefighters already knew – they put their health and lives at risk to protect the community and property in the most stressful of workplaces. The profession requires immediate reaction to highly stressful incidents requiring life and death decision making and while having to manage public and distressed family members.

It is time that the stressful nature of the job and the impact of continued exposure to toxins and traumatic events is recognised to ensure firefighters are able to access medical entitlements, assistance and entitlements for resulting occupational disease and mental health condition, as they can for any other work-related illness or injury.

While significant progress has been made with presumptive legislation recognising occupational cancer for Federal, Tasmanian, Western Australian and South Australian firefighters, the UFUA campaign continues to have all Australian firefighters covered by that presumption.

In Canada the presumption has been extended to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and in Australia studies confirm the significantly increased risk and occurrence of mental health issues and PTSD for firefighters.

The 10 most stressful jobs of 2015 are:

  1. Firefighting
  2. EnlistedMilitaryPersonnel
  3. MilitaryGeneral
  4. AirlinePilot
  5. PoliceOfficer
  6. Actor
  7. Broadcaster
  8. EventCoordinator
  9. Photojournalist
  10. Newspaper Reporter

Authorised by National Secretary Peter Marshall

Read the PDF from the nation branch here