A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), who is usually the employer, has a primary duty of care under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2020 to ensure the health and safety of workers and others at the workplace, so far as is reasonably practicable.
For the first time, Health is defined under the WHS Act to include both physical and psychological health.
The WHS Act formally imposes a requirement to manage the risks of psychosocial hazards in the workplace and require a PCBU to eliminate psychosocial risks, or to minimise them as much as is reasonably practical, putting them on the same footing as other significant hazards such as falls or operating machinery.
The latest data shows the average number of weeks off work (incapacity weeks) for psychological injury claims is twenty-five* but organisations with a supportive culture that rewards workers, promotes early reporting of issues, and has proactive risk management strategies are far less likely to have poor health outcomes.
A good first step in creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace is identifying psychosocial risks in the workplace.
If you would like expert support to identify and address psychosocial risks in your workplace, please call us on 08 9535 4604.
“Psychosocial hazards are just as important as physical hazards and must be dealt with in the workplace, these regulations help business owners to better understand the requirements for managing psychosocial hazards.” – Teneille Koenig, WHS Consultant, HR Legal Connect.
*(Comcare claims data 2021/22)