26 September 2023

New codes set for workplace behaviour

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The Commission for Occupational Safety and Health has launched three new Codes of Practice covering a wide range of inappropriate workplace behaviour.

The Commission’s Code of Practice on Workplace Behaviour covers misconduct, prolonged conflict, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying.

Its Code of Practice on Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace includes violence, aggression, fatigue, burnout, stress and trauma and its Code of Practice on Violence and Aggression at Work provides guidance where workers may be exposed to physical assault, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation and harassment.

Unveiling the new Codes, the Commission said that since 2014 the State had operated under the Code of Practice on Violence, Aggression and Bullying.

“The three modernised Codes ensure that more inappropriate workplace behaviour is adequately considered,” the Commission said.

“They were developed following increasing concerns in various WA industries,” it said.

“In the hospitality and entertainment industries, there have been increased cases of abuse towards staff following the mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.”

It said the new Codes followed the Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety program, which was launched to address workplace sexual harassment and assault in the mining industry.

Membership of the Commission includes the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA, Unions WA and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA.

Minister for Industrial Relations, Bill Johnston said inappropriate behaviour was unacceptable in any workplace.

“These Codes provide practical risk management guidance that can be tailored to the unique demands of each workplace,” Mr Johnston said.

“Managing psychosocial hazards is the responsibility of employers, but it can be extremely challenging and a proactive and comprehensive approach is needed, hence these very specific Codes,” he said.

More information about the Codes can be accessed at this PS News link.

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