Psychosocially safe investigative practices
Have you identified your hazards?
Psychosocial hazards are factors in the design or management of work that increase the risk of work-related stress and can lead to psychological or physical harm, such as poor supervisor support or high job demands.
Your employees are likely to be exposed to a combination of psychological hazards - some might be always present, while others only occasionally. There is greater risk of work-related stress when psychosocial hazards combine and act together, so employers should not consider hazards in isolation.
The hazards do not necessarily reveal the causes of work-related stress. Causes are likely to be specific to the employee, work, or workplace. Senior management should identify which psychosocial hazards negatively impact employee health and wellbeing, and take appropriate action to control the impact of them.
Psychosocial hazards commonly include work overload, role ambiguity, lack of job control or autonomy, poorly managed change, low levels of support, poor reward and recognition, lack of organisational justice, occupational violence, incivility, bullying, and sexual harassment.
Managing psychosocial risk
The experts at PKF can help you manage psychosocial risk with the application of a risk management framework designed to prevent psychological harm caused by worker exposure to hazards.
Psychological risk management involves four steps:
- Identifying the hazards and what could cause harm
- Assessing risks by understanding the nature of the hazard, the likelihood of it occurring and its potential duration, and the amount of harm it could cause
- Controlling risks by implementing the most effective and practical control measures
- Reviewing hazards and control measures, to ensure actions taken are effective.
The success of this approach is underpinned firstly by a commitment from all levels of the organisation, and particularly the leadership team, to demonstrate and drive good practices, and secondly by group consultation, to provide opportunities for input and to foster a sense of worth within the employee group.
Are you protecting your workers’ mental health?
Having an appreciation for addressing psychosocial hazards is one thing, but it's another to take action, to be compliant, and to demonstrate better practices.
The World Health Organisation estimates one trillion dollars can be attributed to lost productivity caused by mental ill-health. In Australia, this equates to $70 billion in our local economy.
How mature is your psychosocial risk management framework? A robust psychosocial risk management system will have your organisation's employee group not only aware of psychosocial safety best practice, but also educated on it, practically applying its principles, and striving for continuous improvement.
Why choose PKF?
PKF is committed to helping organisations mitigate psychosocial hazards and promote mental health in the workplace.
We are available to help you apply a risk management framework to identify and understand psychosocial hazards, assess risks, and implement effective control measures in your organisation.
We prioritise consultation, ensuring information sharing and giving staff ample opportunities to express their views.
By leveraging our expertise and following international best practices, PKF supports organisations of all sizes in addressing psychosocial risks, protecting worker psychological health, and achieving a holistic approach to mental health at work. We can support you too.