Identify and Manage Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace
In the Work Health and Safety Act, Health is defined to mean “physical and psychological health”
Work-related psychological injuries have a significant impact on workers, their families and businesses.
Therefore being aware of how to identify and manage psychosocial hazards is of great importance.
The below infographic can help you think about how your workers might describe psychosocial hazards.
Source: Safe Work Australia, October 2022
Under the WHS laws, a PCBU must eliminate or minimise psychosocial risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
It is important to understand that some hazards may not create psychosocial risks on their own but may do so if combined with other hazards.
You can apply the same four step risk management process for physical hazards to manage psychosocial hazards.
Step 1 - Identify the hazards:
Psychosocial hazards and risks can be identified by talking and listening to your workers and inspecting your workplace. It is important that you take note of how your workers interact and review reports and records. A survey tool to gather information from staff can help identify the hazards within your workplace.
Step 2 - Assess the risks:
Once hazards have been identified, you should consider what could happen if workers are exposed to these hazards and risks. Many hazards and their associated risks are well-known, but some may need to be identified through a formal assessment process.
Step 3 - Control the risks:
Once your risks have been assessed, where possible you should aim to eliminate the risk. Risk elimination is always the safest option, if this is not possible, then minimise the risk as much as possible. The use of Hierarchy of Control is a legal requirement when defining control measures.
Step 4 - Review control measures:
Regularly review your control measures to ensure they remain effective. They should be maintained, monitored and reviewed, repeating the risk management process to manage psychosocial hazards.
This October, for National Safe Work Month, Coastal OHS is running a 35% discount on our Leading Safety Training Online Courses, including our workplace mental well-being training program which can help managers and employees recognise and manage their mental health and psychological risk within the workplace.