Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace

Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace

Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace

Diane Coloretti

Diane Coloretti


26 April 2023

New Psychosocial Hazard Code of Practice in place in Queensland 

The workplace often a significant part of a person’s life and therefore should play an important role in supporting mental and physical health of its employees.  From the 1st April 2023, an addition to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, WHS Act must be acted on to include Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace.

Psychosocial hazards are factors in the workplace that can have significate impact on an employee’s mental and physical well-being. These hazards can include factors such as workload, job demands, workplace culture, and interpersonal relationships and truama events. While physical hazards in the workplace have long been recognized as a risk to employee safety and health, psychosocial hazards have only recently been gaining more attention.

It is important for employers and policymakers to take steps to prevent and address workplace violence and harassment, including developing clear policies and procedures, providing training to employees, and creating a safe and supportive work environment. The code provides clarity and certainty to duty holders, through practical guidance about their obligations, and gives examples of how to meet these requirements. 

Identifying hazards

  1. Talking and listening to workers
  2. Taking note of how workers interact
  3. Reviewing performance reports and records
  4. Using a survey tool to gather information

What is the responsibility of the Employer to manage psychosocial hazards

  1. Ensuring a safe working environment
  2. Identify psychosocial hazards
  3. Necessary information, training, instruction and supervision of work and workers
  4. Assess and control the risks and remain effective
  5. Review the controls

Workers may be hesitant to raise and discuss psychosocial hazards, especially when they include coercion, sexual harassment or bullying. A reliable and reporting mechanism within ConnX is to report these through Workplace Health and Safety Module which has, follow ups and reporting on such hazards.

Psychosocial Hazards, if left unaddressed can lead to decreased productivity, higher absenteeism, higher turnover, increased physical illness.
The Code applies to all workplaces covered by the WHS Act, it covers employers, workers, contractors, subcontractors, outworkers, the self-employed, apprentices and trainees, work experience students, and volunteers.

It is not expected that you have to do something new, what you do for physical safety just needs to now be done for psychosocial safety.

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