Researchers from the University of South Australia's Psychosocial Safety Climate Global Observatory have surveyed 101 Victorian HSRs to understand how their perceptions might affect the implementation of the proposed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations – currently in draft form.
The researchers found that the attitudes of HSRs towards the regulations are crucial for successful implementation. HSRs play a key role in communication between workers and management, and their views influence how smoothly new policies are put into practice.
Furthermore, HSRs have unique powers under OHS laws that can be used to mitigate psychosocial hazards and risks.
The study evaluated HSRs' attitudes towards the draft regulations by asking them about the potential benefits and challenges they foresee.
Most HSRs had a positive outlook, believing the regulations would improve workplace practices and the psychological health of workers. However, some expressed concerns about potential negative consequences, such as being targeted for reporting psychosocial risks and facing adverse actions.
Overall, understanding the attitudes of HSRs towards the regulations is important for predicting their willingness to drive change. This insight can potentially assist unions in improving training programs to ensure the effective implementation of the new regulations, which aim to address preventable work-related psychological health issues.