Changes are happening in Australian Workplaces in regard to managing the Mental Health of workers. The changes specifically address what is known as pyschosocial safety and hazards in the workplace.
In recent years, Australian workplaces recognized the importance of psychosocial safety. Initiatives introduced aim to improve the mental health and wellbeing of workers.
What are Psychosocial Hazards?
Psychosocial hazards are factors in the workplace that can cause psychological harm to workers. These hazards can arise from various sources such as the design or management of work, workplace systems, social interactions, and culture. It is important for employers to identify and manage these hazards to promote a healthy work environment and prevent harm to their employees. Below is a list of common psychosocial hazards at work:
- Job demands
- Low job control
- Poor support
- Lack of role clarity
- Poor organisational change management
- Inadequate reward and recognition
- Poor organisational justice
- Traumatic events or material
- Remote or isolated work
- Poor physical environment
- Violence and aggression
- Harassment (including sexual harassment)
- Conflict or poor workplace relationships and interactions
Changes are happening in Australian Workplaces
On 1st April 2023, Queensland introduced the first legally enforceable code of practice addressing psychological health risks at work. The code of practice developed and based on a national model, aims to help businesses manage psychological health risks at work and promote the mental well-being of employees.
All Australian states have agreed to amend their Workplace Health and Safety Laws to place a greater emphasis on the Psychosocial Safety of Workers in the workplace. These changes place greater responsibility and accountability on employers to manage psychosocial safety.
What are the Psychological Safety Changes designed to do?
Overall, these changes are designed to create more supportive and inclusive workplaces in Australia, where employees feel valued and supported, and where mental health and wellbeing are prioritised alongside productivity and efficiency.
While there is still much work to be done, the increasing recognition of the importance of psychosocial factors in the workplace is a positive development that is likely to have significant benefits for both employees and employers in the years to come.
You can access more information about the new codes of practice in Queensland at https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/mental-health/Psychosocial-hazards
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