Feedback sought on social hazards in the workplace

Western Australia’s Commission for Occupational Safety and Health is seeking public submissions on a code of practice related to psychosocial hazards in the workplace.

According to a Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety statement, the code is intended to provide practical guidance for workplaces where workers may be exposed to psychological and social hazards.

These hazards include inappropriate behaviours, violence and aggression, fatigue, burnout, stress and trauma, all of which can be harmful to health.

WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said it was important to make managing psychosocial hazards a priority in workplaces, and everyone had a duty to do so.

“Everyone who has a duty to prevent or minimise hazards at workplaces, including employers, employees, self-employed people and safety and health representatives and committees, should use this code,” Kavanagh said.

“Managing psychosocial hazards can be challenging, so a proactive and comprehensive approach is needed, and effective consultation and communication are critical.

“This code provides reasonably practicable guidance for a risk management approach that should then be tailored to the unique demands of each workplace.”

While this public consultation relates to the draft Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace code of practice, there are also complementary codes that cover violence and aggression at work and workplace behaviour.

“The Commission for Occupational Safety and Health is made up of the main stakeholders in workplace safety and health in WA, and it has recognised that this is an extremely important issue,” Kavanagh said.

“As a result of the acknowledgment of this priority issue, the Commission has produced a draft publication on which it is now seeking public comment.

“Anyone who has an interest in workplace safety and health should consider submitting comments on this code, thereby contributing to the safety and health of all Western Australians.”

Comments on the draft code are open until Monday, October 11. Comments can be submitted to safetycomms@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

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