Why is Psychosocial Safety Important in the Workplace?
The newly released ISO45003 standard introduces management of ‘psychosocial risk’ to the workplace.
Managed well, Psychosocial Risk can have a positive impact on
the Organisational Culture, with a flow on effect to physical safety factors that have been the focus for workplace since the release of the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015, and ISO45001.
Mental health and wellbeing are core factors and indicators of safety culture. Psychosocial Safety underpins operational efficiencies, job performance, personnel retention and agility at work.
ISO45003 encourages operational practices that identify and manage contributing factors that if left unchecked can become the contributing factor to workplace incidents down the track.
What is Psychosocial Safety?
Psychosocial hazards relate to social factors at work, resourcing and how work is organised contributing to the overall work environment. Psychosocial Safety can be impacted through workplace stress, fatigue and internal/external environmental factors and directly impacts the wellbeing of organisational culture.
Psychosocial risks can affect both psychological health and safety, physical safety, and the mental health and wellbeing of workers.
ISO45003 provides guidance on how to identify and manage Psychosocial Risks, alongside the physical safety measures applied in the ISO45001 Health & Safety standard. Within the standard it gives examples of where psychosocial hazards might arise and control measures available to eliminate hazards or minimise associated risks.
Organisations incorporating this standard are able to raise awareness of psychosocial risks, develop management competencies and support the recovery, return to work of affected workers. As part of the management process, response plans are developed to address emergency situations for individuals and the wider workforce.
What Actions Can Employers and Business Owners Take?
Emerging from the pandemic, understanding psychosocial safety factors within your organisation can help to re-stabilise the workplace. This can be achieved through:
ScoreCard Assessment Audits
The ScoreCard provides an understanding of the frequency, duration and intensity in relation to day to day work activities and uncovers gaps in practices that can be adapted to promote wellbeing and mental health. The ScoreCard Assessment creates action plans and benchmarks to monitor trends and factors that have a direct impact on performance, productivity and profit.
Leadership and Team Workshops help organisations to brainstorm the current workplace environment to come up with ideas and strategies that the wider team can apply to improve day to day psychosocial outcomes through tweaking regular operational activities.
Behavioural & Cognitive Assessments
How we align work tasks to our natural strengths and behaviours can make a fundamental difference to job satisfaction, and performance. Retention of our key players is paramount in a restricted labour market. Workforce planning and job design has become a primary consideration for job seekers, as motivational trends in employment lean toward flexibility, development and balance over monetary reward.
Planning & Implementation
Working with Emendas on a project/contract basis to develop and integrate management practices to support individuals and prepare the workplace with awareness and strategies (including emergency response plans) to manage psychosocial safety and performance across the organisation.