What are Psychosocial Hazards?
Learn about psychosocial hazards and what they are
Psychosocial hazards are aspects of work which have the potential to cause psychological or physical harm.
The Model Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work identifies 14 psychosocial hazards.
On this page, we provide information on what they are, the risks they pose and how to eliminate or minimise them in your workplace.
Job demands refer to the levels of physical, mental or emotional effort are needed to do the job. Job demands that are too high or too low are a psychosocial hazard.
Low job control means workers have little control or say over the work. This includes over how or when the job is done. It becomes a hazard when it is severe (e.g. very low job control), prolonged (e.g. long term) or frequent (e.g. happens often).
Poor support includes not providing workers with adequate support including practical assistance and emotional support from managers and colleagues to complete a task or job.
Lack of role clarity means workers aren’t clear on their job, responsibilities or what is expected. This may happen when they aren’t given the right information or things keep changing.
Poor organisational change management means changes that are poorly planned, communicated, supported or managed.
Poor organisational justice which can involves a lack of procedural justice, informational fairness, or interpersonal fairness can create a psychosocial workplace hazard.
Remote or isolated work means work that is isolated from the assistance of others because of the location, time or nature of the work. It often involves long travel times, poor access to resources, or limited communications.
Inadequate reward and recognition means there is an imbalance between the effort workers put in and the recognition or reward they get. Reward and recognition can be formal or informal.
Witnessing, investigating or being exposed to traumatic events or materials is considered a psychosocial hazard.
A poor physical environment means workers are exposed to unpleasant, poor quality or hazardous working environments or conditions.
Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour towards a worker or workers, creating a risk to health and safety.
Harassment is a harmful behaviour that creates a risk to health or safety.
Workplace violence can be any incident where a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances arising out of, or in the course of their work.
Conflict or poor workplace relationships and interactions can refer to a breakdown of individual and team relationships, conflict arising from tasks or relationships, violence and incivility.