Understanding and Managing Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace
Learn about psychosocial hazards, their impact and how you can manage them in your workplace
Welcome to Exsona's guide on managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace. In this increasingly connected world, understanding and mitigating these hazards is not just a compliance issue—it's crucial for fostering a healthy, productive, and resilient workforce. Here, we'll explore what these hazards are, their impact, and how you can effectively manage them in your organization.
What Are Psychosocial Hazards?
Psychosocial hazards arise from workplace interactions and conditions that negatively impact an employee's psychological health. These can include factors:
Recognising these hazards is the first step towards creating a safer and more supportive work environment.
Impact of Psychosocial Hazards
Neglecting psychosocial hazards can lead to severe consequences for both employees and organizations. It can result in increased stress, burnout, absenteeism, and even mental health disorders. For the organization, this translates into lower productivity, higher turnover, and potential legal repercussions. According to Safe Work Australia, approximately 7,984 Australians are compensated for work-related mental health conditions each year. Safe Work Australia also reported that psychological injuries usually have longer recovery times, higher costs and more time away from work than physical injuries.
How can employers manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace?
Aligned with Safe Work Australia, Exsona endorses a risk management process for psychosocial hazards, akin to strategies used for physical hazards, emphasizing teamwork and continuous dialogue.
Your role as an employer extends beyond risk mitigation to actively reducing psychosocial hazards wherever possible, fostering a workplace culture of empathy and proactive care
Apply the risk management process to manage psychosocial hazards
Psychosocial hazards and risks can be identified by:
talking and listening to your employees
inspecting your workplace
taking note of how your workers interact
reviewing reports and records, and
using a survey tool to gather information from your people.
Consider what could happen if workers are exposed to the identified hazards and risks. Many hazards and their associated risks are well‑known but some may need to be identified through a formal assessment process.
Where possible, eliminate the risk. This is always the safest option, but if it isn’t possible, minimise the risk as much as possible through planning and prevention.
Maintain, monitor and review control measures when necessary. It is important to regularly review control measures to ensure they remain effective.
Want to learn more about managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace?
Discover how to master psychosocial hazard management in the workplace with our insightful eBook, a must-read for HR leaders and safety professionals.
Download our free 'Managing Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace' eBook here.