So, what are psychosocial hazards?
Psychosocial hazards are a type of workplace hazard that can affect workers’ mental health and well-being. They are typically related to the way work is designed, organised, and managed, and can include factors such as workload, work demands, interpersonal relationships, and organisational culture.
What are some common psychosocial hazards in the workplace:
- Workload and work demand: This can include excessive workloads, unrealistic deadlines, and inadequate resources to complete tasks.
- Workplace bullying and harassment: This can involve verbal or physical abuse, exclusion, and intimidation.
- Job insecurity: This can include fear of losing one’s job, job instability, and uncertainty about the future of the organisation.
- Lack of support: This can include a lack of support from supervisors or colleagues, a lack of training or resources to do the job, and a lack of recognition or rewards for good work.
- Organisational change: This can include mergers, downsizing, and restructures that can lead to job loss, increased workload, and uncertainty.
How can you prevent psychosocial hazards in the workplace?
Psychosocial hazards can have a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of workers, leading to stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, and other mental health issues. To prevent and manage psychosocial hazards at work, employers should conduct risk assessments to identify potential hazards, develop policies and procedures to manage risks, and provide training and support to workers to promote mental health and well-being. As of April 1 2023, for most businesses in Australia, this will become a mandatory requirement. The Work Health and Safety Amendment (Managing Psychosocial Risk and Other Measures) Regulations 2022 come into force on April 1 2023 for all work and workplaces covered by the WHS Act 2011.
So, what does this new legislation mean?
It means that all Duty Holders, Stake Holders, and Businesses (PCBUs) MUST manage their psychosocial risks in accordance with the legislation. The Amended Code and Regulations cover employers, workers, contractors, subcontractors, out workers, the self-employed, apprentices and trainees, work experience students, and volunteers.
To comply with the new amended Legislation, PCBUs must Identify the Hazards, Assess the Risks and then Control the Risks. PCBUs have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of each worker while at work. Health includes physical and psychological health. This means that PCBUs must ensure that psychosocial hazards at work are effectively managed. The PCBU’s duty to workers includes ensuring the health and safety of workers from harmful acts from third parties, such as clients, visitors, or patients.
What will be required of the PCBU to manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace?
Includes ensuring they provide and maintain:
- a safe working environment
- safe systems of work
- safe use, handling, and storage of equipment, structures, and substances
- adequate facilities at work
- necessary information, training, instruction, or supervision of workers, and
- conditions at the workplace are monitored to ensure any risks remain adequately controlled
For more information on the new Amendments to the Legislation that come into force on April 1 2023, visit the Worksafe website here. If you are looking for training programs to aid and assist you in managing psychosocial risks, our friends at Fast First Aid Training have programs that will help here.
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