Psychosocial risk is number one on the agenda for many Australian workplace leaders. Right now, most safety briefings requested of us are on this very topic. And with good reason. The common refrain from employers is ‘what do we need to do?’
We wrote recently:
Gone are the days when workplace safety belongs only in factories and mines. In 2023 criminal charges can and will be brought in relation to hazards and their associated risks that traverse every industry, every workplace and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Caution signs will not “cut the mustard.”– It’s not all hard hats and high vis: The hazards you cannot see in the workplace, Workplace Law & Strategy Blog, 10 April 2023
The needle has moved such that Australian organisations and their workers may face criminal charges under work health and safety legislation for failing to control hazards and their associated risks that are psychological in nature, and not necessarily visible to the human eye.
Regulators are increasingly focused on this issue. Safety regulators rely on government funding to conduct audits, issue improvement and prohibition notices, and prosecute alleged breaches.
The Federal Government’s budget allocation of an additional $2 million over two years to support the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Regulations on managing psychosocial hazards – legislation that only commenced on 1 April 2023, six weeks ago – sends a strong signal about the future of this issue.
It’s here to stay. It’s a health and safety issue that applies to every workplace, which makes it imperative to consider how best to apply control measures for its working environment. It is an issue that those in control of workplaces cannot afford to ignore.
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