Access to our Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne offices is currently restricted. To visit us at these locations, call 1300 366 979 to arrange an appointment.

Traumatic events or materials

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

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

A person is more likely to experience an event as traumatic when it is unexpected, is perceived as uncontrollable, or is the result of intentional cruelty. This includes vicarious exposure and cumulative trauma.

What are traumatic events and material?

Traumatic events or material may include:

  • witnessing or investigating a fatality, serious injury, abuse, neglect or serious incident
  • exposure to seriously injured or deceased persons
  • experiencing fear or extreme risks
  • exposure to natural disasters
  • witnessing or investigating terrorism or war
  • supporting victims of painful and traumatic events
  • listening to or reading descriptions of painful and traumatic events experienced by others
  • finding evidence of crimes or traumatic events
  • exposure to events that bring up traumatic memories.

Traumatic events and materials have been identified as a hazard in the Model Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work.

This guidance will help you meet your obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.

Training on psychological health and safety

Training on mentally healthy workplaces

We provide training through our learning management system called Comcare LMS.

To access our training, you first need to create an account in Comcare LMS (see the steps to create an account). Then, select the training item that you are interested in and login with your email and password.

For more information about the training we offer, see Training and learning.

Page last reviewed: 18 August 2022

GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 02 Mar 2024