Safety at work starts with our mental and psychosocial health.

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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. There can also be a flow-on effect to physical safety factors that have been the focus for the 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 factors that, if left unchecked, can contribute to workplace incidents down the track.

What is Psychosocial Safety?

Psychosocial safety can be impacted by workplace stress, fatigue, and internal/external environmental factors. It directly impacts the wellbeing of organisational culture. Related hazards can include:

  • Social factors.
  • Resourcing.
  • How work is organised, contributing to the overall work environment.

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. The standard gives examples of where psychosocial hazards might arise, and the control measures available to eliminate hazards or minimise associated risks.

Organisations incorporating this standard are able to raise awareness of psychosocial risks. They can also develop management competencies and support the recovery and 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?

As we emerge 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 of day-to-day work activities. It uncovers gaps in practices that can be adapted to promote wellbeing and mental health. By undertaking this assessment, companies create action plans and benchmarks to monitor trends and factors that have a direct impact on performance, productivity, and profit.

Workshops

Leadership and Team Workshops help organisations to brainstorm the current workplace environment and come up with ideas and strategies. The wider team can then apply these 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. This is important, because 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; 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 can help organisations to practically improve psychosocial safety practices. With expert guidance, our clients gain the tools to support individuals and prepare the workplace with awareness and strategies (including emergency response plans) to manage psychosocial safety and performance across the organisation.