STP Single Touch Payroll


Psychosocial Hazards


27 June 2023

Our mental health is just like our physical health and is just as important. Just because you can’t necessarily see a mental health concern, this doesn’t mean it isn’t real or important. Psychosocial health should be considered in the same way that physical health is in the workplace. This means managing hazards, removing or minimising risks and providing safe and supportive work environments.

Recently there has been some changes to the legislation relating to the management of psychosocial hazards in the workplace for businesses.

Changes include:

  • adding a clear definition of psychosocial hazards
  • clarification that businesses must manage psychosocial hazards and
  • the requirement that businesses implement control measures to eliminate psychosocial risks if possible and if not to minimise the risks

A psychosocial hazard is a hazard that may cause psychological harm and arises from the work environment, the work itself or interactions or behaviours at work between people. Some common psychosocial hazards include role overload, role underload, exposure to traumatic events, working along / in isolation or harassment and bullying.

Businesses must implement control measures that remove or minimise psychosocial risks as much as possible. When considering how to control risks and hazards the following should be considered:

  • the length, severity and frequency of exposure to the psychosocial hazards
  • the job demands and tasks
  • how work is managed, organised and supported
  • the work environment including (but not limited to) design, airflow, light, welfare facilities, amenities, safety and temperature
  • Safety, such as PPE
  • workplace interactions or behaviours
  • the information training, instruction and supervision

Not only is providing a mentally healthy workplace legally required, there are many benefits for both employees and businesses when a workplace is safe in both a physical and psychosocial way. Benefits to employees and businesses include increased employee confidence, financial security, social connections, productivity, reduced injuries, reduced turnover, less personal leave days and a greater positive workplace culture.

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