WORK DESIGN FOR PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH

SafeWork NSW has released a 38-page guide titled Designing Work to Manage Psychosocial Risks emphasising the crucial importance of understanding how the work is actually done, compared to how it's imagined in safety documents.

The guide emphasises the value of effective worker consultation, advocating for open discussions to identify areas of success and areas needing improvement. By engaging workers in this manner, organisations can develop processes and systems that effectively mitigate psychosocial risks in both routine operations and emergencies.

Aligned with NSW's WHS Code of Practice, the guide outlines duty holders' responsibilities, emphasising the implementation of control measures through improved work design, workplace environment, and operational systems.

This proactive approach involves thoroughly understanding the organisation's work context, considering factors such as company size, culture, safety protocols, environmental conditions, and employee skills. By employing tailored work design strategies, organisations can eliminate or minimize hazards and risks at their source.

The guide encourages actively fostering positive elements to enhance employee well-being and mitigate stress, burnout, fatigue, work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

Designing Work to Manage Psychosocial Risks acknowledges that psychosocial hazards and risks can manifest gradually through cumulative exposure, diminishing individuals' coping abilities and increasing stress levels, or through acute, highly stressful events such as witnessing or experiencing serious injuries, threats of harm, or sexual violence.

Source: OHS Alert, 05 March

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