Employment Relations Podcast #36 – What does a psychosocially safe workplace look like?
Following the 2018 Boland Review into the model Work Health and Safety provisions, workplace psychosocial safety has squarely been on the policy agenda. Combined with recent changes as a result of the Respect@Work Report, the clear policy position, and expectation of society, is one of employers taking responsibility and being accountable for having workplaces that are both physically and psychologically safe.
In South Australia, its version of amendments to the Work Health and Safety regulations to deal with psychosocial safety commence on 25 December 2023, following similar legislative reform around Australia in each of the jurisdictions with the model Work Health and Safety laws. Victoria is currently considering similar, though potentially more far-reaching, provisions.
In this episode of the Podcast, Emily Haar and Emily Slaytor discuss what it means to have a workplace that is psychosocially safe, including what psychosocial hazards are, how to spot them and manage them, and what organisations need to do to both be compliant, but to also prove compliance in the event that a regulator takes interest. Directors and senior executives in particular need to think about how they will ensure appropriate “due diligence” to comply with their duties as officers under work health and safety law.
Some resources you may be interested in to explore this further include:
- 2018 Boland Review
- The Safe Work Australia Model Code of Practice
- The US Surgeon-General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Curtin University and the University of Sydney, ‘How work design shapes mental health in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industry,’ July 2023
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