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Psychosocial hazards

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. This section provides information on what they are, the risks they pose and how to eliminate or minimise them in your workplace.

Preventing psychological harm is an essential part of creating a healthy and safe workplace. This regulatory guide will assist you to understand the requirements of the regulations.

Job demands are one of the most common sources of workplace stress and psychological harm.

Low job control is when workers have little control over how or when their job is done, or if their work is tightly managed.

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, which can include unclear, inconsistent or frequently changing roles, responsibilities or expectations and a lack of important job-related information can be a mental health risk for workers.

Change is constant in working life and if managed well, can bring positive results for organisations and workers.

Jobs where there is an imbalance between workers’ effort and recognition or rewards, both formal and informal can create a psychosocial risk.

Poor organisational justice which can involves a lack of procedural justice, informational fairness, or interpersonal fairness can create a psychosocial workplace hazard.

Witnessing, investigating or being exposed to traumatic events or material is considered a workplace psychosocial hazard.

Working alone or remotely increases the risks to physical and psychological health in any job.

Exposure to unpleasant, poor quality or hazardous working environments or conditions can have a negative impact on workers physical and mental health.

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.

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.

Guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking about their duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and how to manage the risks of family and domestic violence at the workplace.

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.

If you are experiencing problems in the workplace and you want to make a complaint, help is available.

A compilation of tools and resources to help you manage psychological health and safety in the workplace.

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Date printed 25 Apr 2024