Are you meeting your WHS obligations regarding psychosocial hazards in the workplace?

employment & workplace relations

Earlier this year, the WA Work Health and Safety Commission published three new Codes of Practice regarding psychosocial hazards, violence and aggression and workplace behaviour. These Codes of Practice place a positive obligation upon employers to use established risk management principles to address hazards relating to psychosocial, violence, aggression and behaviour within the workplace.

When a code of practice is in place, the Commission encourages employers to either follow the code or adopt and follow other principles that give the same, or higher, level of protection against the risk.

So we ask you, what are you currently doing to manage psychosocial hazards and inappropriate workplace behaviour in your workplace?

What are psychosocial hazards?

Workplace psychosocial hazards are related to the psychological and social conditions of the workplace, such as stress, fatigue, bullying, violence, aggression, harassment, and burnout, all of which can be harmful to workers’ health and compromise their wellbeing.

Bullying and any other inappropriate workplace behaviour, such as harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and victimisation, should be treated the same as any other hazard. If unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour occurs, or there is a high potential for such behaviour, there is an increased risk of psychological and/or physical harm. Steps, therefore, should be taken to stop the behaviour.

The codes also refer to other hazards such as (but not limited to) poor leadership, poor policies, work demands, lack of control, inadequate support, fatigue, remote work, or low recognition as potential psychosocial hazards in the workplace.

What can you do to address these hazards?

To address your workplace behaviour obligations under the WHS Act, we recommend the following:

  1. Ensure your policies and procedures are up-to-date and reflect the codes. Have policies that outline your expectations regarding workplace behaviour and have procedures for managing grievances;
  2. Provide training on these policies and procedures – a policy is never enough;
  3. Equip your front-line leaders with essential people management capabilities; and
  4. Monitor inappropriate workplace behaviour and investigate matters appropriately as they arise.

How can we help?

  • We will review and refresh your policies and provide recommendations on any gaps you may have.
  • We will facilitate impactful, insightful, and compliance-based training on appropriate workplace behaviour to your entire workforce. We run two-hour sessions that cover the essentials – where your employees will walk away understanding why these areas are so important, what is and isn’t appropriate at work, and how these matters can be resolved.
  • We deliver front-line people management courses customised to your business and leadership structures, equipping your leaders with the tools and resources to hold effective and constructive performance-related discussions to foster safe and supportive environments.

Get in touch with us today, so we can help you meet your obligations regarding appropriate workplace behaviour and psychosocial hazards at work.

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