Searchshow menu

Address risks to mental health in the workplaces

Managing work based risks to mental health in the workplace is a responsibility under the Work Health Safety Act 2011. The majority of psychological injury claims are not the result of a major traumatic event. Most are due to the work environment and are classified as relating to work pressure or harassment and bullying. This covers a range of factors such as harm arising from work deadlines, organisational change, conflict with peers, performance management and poor communication.

8 areas of work that are central to managing psychosocial risks in the workplace are listed below. They are based on the United Kingdom Civic Service Health and Safety Executive (HSE) standards for work related stress and the People at Work Project.

Eight areas of work that are central to managing psychosocial risks in the workplace 

Demands The demands of people's jobs (relating to workload, work patterns, working) Support The support provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues. Role Extent to which people understand their role in the organisation and do not have confilcting roles Justice Perceptions of fairness about work procedures and how procedures are implemented within the organisation. Control How much control (or how much say) people have in the way they do their work. Relationships Relationships at work. Change How organisational change is managed and communicated. Recognition and reward How an individual team's contributions are recognised and rewarded.

Tools and resources to address risks to psychosocial harm

The People at Work Project is a psychosocial risk assessment process. It aims to help organisations identify and manage workplace risks to the psychological health of all the people that work in an organisation. 

We all have a responsibility under the Work Health Safety Act 2011 to look after the physical and psychological health and safety of our workers.

The Guide – Working Together: Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work  can help managers and workers know how to respond manage risks to mental health including:

Working Well: An organisational approach to preventing psychological injury is a guide for corporate, HR and WHS Managers on addressing psychological risks

Read more about change in the guide, Looking after workers during times of change

Training is also available to help workers and managers and senior leaders understand their WHS responsibilities and how to manage risks to prevent harm to mental health.

Page last updated: 20 Mar 2014