A Comprehensive Guide: Identifying and Addressing Workplace Stressors

In today’s workplace, you can’t just focus on physical hazards.Β  Psychosocial hazards like work stress, conflicts, harassment and traumatic incidents must also be considered. Mental wellbeing not just physical wellbeing of staff has to be the goal of a supportive workplace.

At the Policy Place, we reflect this focus for members of our online policy service throughout our health and safety policy suite.Β  But policy isn’t enough. Within any organisation or business the first important step to prevent mental harm and injury is to identify psychosocial hazards.

To help with this, we’ve prepared the following Action Plan that is based on the Model of Practice for Managing psychosocial hazards at Work produced by Safe Work Australia. Follow the steps in it and you’ll be able to identify key hazards in your workplace warranting management via your health and safety policy and procedures.

With this information, you’ll then be able to work with your staff to assess and mitigate risks like burnout, high turnover, and psychological harm and achieve a supportive work environment where both morale and productivity are high.

Action Plan: Identifying and Addressing Workplace Stressors

1. Conduct Comprehensive Hazard Identification πŸ”

Identify all reasonably foreseeable psychosocial hazards within your business or community service.

2. Recognize Cultural Hazards:

🌐 Consider cultural factors that may contribute to psychosocial hazards, such as organisational norms, cultural diversity, values, messaging and communication styles.

3. Consultation with Workers: 🀝

Engage workers in the hazard identification process, including Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) if applicable.

4. Use Surveys and Tools:

πŸ“Š Employ surveys to gather information from staff, HSRs, supervisors, and members of the management team.

4. Observe Work and Behaviors:

πŸ‘€ Observe the workplace environment, work practices, and interpersonal interactions.

5. Review Available Information:

πŸ“‹ Review records of injuries, incidents, complaints, workplace inspections, staffing decisions, notes from exit interviews, absenteeism, policies, and more.

6. Identify Trends:

πŸ“ˆ Analyse collected information to identify trends in hazard occurrence (eg retention versus attrition in areas; absenteeism).

7. Establish Reporting Mechanism:

πŸ“ Establish and promote ways for workers to report hazards, ensuring privacy and anonymity where possible.

8. Encourage Reporting:

πŸ“£ Address common reasons for underreporting and encourage workers to report hazards through various accessible channels.

9. Act on Reported Hazards:

⚠️ Take reported hazards seriously and implement appropriate control measures.

10. Adapt Reporting Systems Proportionally:

πŸ”„ Tailor reporting systems to the organization’s size and risk profile.