26 September 2023

Call for comments on workplace mental rules

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Victorians are being called on to help prevent workplace psychological harm by having their say on proposed regulations.

Issuing the call for feedback, Executive Director of Health and Safety at WorkSafe Victoria, Narelle Beer said the proposed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations would provide clearer guidance to employers on their obligations to safeguard workers from mental injury.

“Work-related psychological injuries continued to grow, with mental injury expected to account for a third of all workers’ compensation claims by the end of the decade,” Dr Beer said.

“With a rising number of people seeking help for work-related psychological injury, it is more important than ever that employers do everything reasonably practicable to provide a psychologically safe and healthy workplace,” she said.

“These proposed regulations will put psychosocial hazards on equal footing with physical hazards and recognise that they can be just as harmful to employees’ safety and wellbeing.”

Dr Beer said the proposed regulations would promote the importance of psychological health and safety; clarify employer requirements to identify and control risks associated with psychosocial hazards; clarify employer requirements to review and revise risk-control measures associated with psychosocial hazards; require employers to put in place a written prevention plan for certain psychosocial hazards; and require certain employers to periodically report data on complaints of bullying, sexual harassment, aggression and violence to WorkSafe.

The Executive Director said WorkSafe was also developing a psychological health compliance code to help employers meet their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and proposed regulations.

“The compliance code will include information on how to identify and control risks to psychological health and, while not mandatory, duty holders that comply with the code will be taken to have complied with their duties under the OHS Act,” Dr Beer said.

Further information on the proposed regulations can be accessed at this PS News link.

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