Health & Safety Bulletin – Psychosocial Hazards, Elimination and Control – November 21

The Safety Bulletin for November focuses on the workplace hazards that create risks or harm to psychological (mental) health and that is known as psychosocial hazards. These hazards can cause both psychological and physical harm.

The psychosocial hazards come from:

  • Work relationships and interactions including bullying, harassment, discrimination, aggression, and violence.
  • The equipment, working environment or requirements to undertake duties in hazardous environments, and
  • The way the work or job is designed, organized, and managed.

The psychosocial hazards include:

  • Violence and aggression
  • Poor support
  • Lack of role clarity
  • Conflict of poor workplace relationships and interactions
  • Poor organisational justice
  • Poor physical environment.
  • Inadequate reward and recognition
  • Traumatic events, and others.

It is important to identify, assess and control psychosocial hazards and the associated risks in the same way as the physical hazards and risks.

The process for eliminating or minimizing psychosocial health and safety risks to as low as reasonably practicable is as per the following risk management process.

  • Identify the hazards
  • Assess the associated risks
  • Implement control measures to eliminate or minimise risks, and
  • Regularly review control measures to ensure they remain effective.

The diagram identifies the hierarchy of control measures in the management of psychosocial risks.