SA: audit to focus on fatigue and bullying in hospitals and health services

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Monday, 25 January, 2021 - 12:45
Policy & legislation
South Australia

SafeWork SA inspectors have commenced an audit program of South Australian hospitals and health services focusing on fatigue and psychological health risks.

The safety campaign is in response to the parliamentary inquiry into Workplace Fatigue and Bullying in Hospitals and Health Services.

The report recommended “that SafeWork SA develop and implement targeted strategies and plans, developed in conjunction with hospital employers, aimed at reducing instances of workplace fatigue and bullying”.

The focus for inspectors will be on the identification of psychological hazards and work-related fatigue, management of risks, adequate training, and ensuring appropriate control measures are in place to prevent or minimise the risk of harm to workers.

Every business can be affected to some degree by work-related fatigue and psychosocial risks, said SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell.

However, certain types of work and some industry sectors, like health, have inherently higher risk factors when shift work is a part of their business model.

“We recognise the unique challenges experienced by the health sector, including the current pressure on this industry during the COVID-19 pandemic so it is paramount more than ever to ensure safe systems of work are in place to protect these workers.”

SafeWork SA inspectors will provide education and guidance to workplaces in managing their work health and safety responsibilities, particularly around fatigue and psychological health risks arising from bullying, harassment and other inappropriate workplace behaviours.

Findings from the audits will help identify areas for improvement and further education, and further information and resources are available on managing health and wellbeing in the workplace.