BOARDROOM PSYCH AWARENESS LACKING

A recent major survey involving leaders from prominent global businesses and government departments confirms a familiar issue for SafetyNet subscribers: employers lack adequate awareness of psychosocial risks in the workplace, hindering proactive compliance with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) duties. This issue is particularly concerning in Australia, where 'officer due diligence' is a specific requirement under (WHS) legislation.

The Ashurst Group's 15-page global survey highlights a lack of priority given to psychosocial risk within organisations. Shockingly, many respondents admitted they don't report these risks to senior management or boards.

Identifying, reporting, and managing psychosocial risks is fundamental for effective organisational change, as is a comprehensive understanding workplace-specific contributors to these risks.

The International Standard ISO 45003:2021 outlines various contributors to psychosocial risks in workplaces, including societal factors (such as lack of support from supervisors and co-workers), environmental factors (such as poor workplace conditions) and organisational factors (such as role ambiguity).

Alarmingly, the survey discovered that a significant percentage of companies overly rely on their workers to manage their own mental health risks, with 32% emphasizing staff training for 'resilience.' Equally concerning, over 50% indicated their organisations either haven't acted or are unaware of actions taken to handle psychosocial risks.

The report underscores that effectively managing psychosocial risks isn't solely the responsibility of companies but also of safety regulators enforcing the law.

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