Taking Care of Business
As a business owner and employer, you should have an understanding of Workplace Health and Safety laws and regulations. However, are you aware of an update that came into effect on 1st April 2023 which requires employers to manage psychosocial hazards under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and do you know what this means for your business?
What is a psychosocial hazard? It is a technical term for a common workplace hazard which can be caused by factors such as (and not limited to):
High job demand
Remote or isolated work
Bullying and harassment
Low job control and autonomy
Psychosocial hazards and the appropriate control measures vary between workplaces, depending on job design, work environment, and organisational factors.
As an employer you must act reasonably:
Ensure workers’ health and safety – including psychological health and safety.
Be proactive to ensure they manage risks by eliminating or minimising them.
Consult with workers on any safety issues.
Provide information, training and instruction to work that is readily understandable.
Under the new rules employers need to follow a four-step risk management process to meet their health and safety obligations and consultation must support each step:
1. Identify hazards - such as those identified above
2. Assess risks – how often are workers exposed to the hazard and if exposed, how serious is the harm
3. Control risks – select the most effective control measures as reasonably practicable.
4. Review and control measures – revisit this process on an ongoing basis
Whilst the above focus on workplace psychosocial hazards is relatively new (in terms of legislative requirements), good employers have always understood the need to take care of their employees. A happy, healthy and engaged workforce is vital to business success. However, management of psychosocial hazards may present a unique challenge to employers, therefore it is important that you seek professional advice if you need assistance with your risk management framework or legal obligations.
The professional business advisors at UHY Haines Norton are here to support you, call us today on 4972 1300.