Western Australia’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) recently issued guidance for employers to assist in looking after employee mental health through COVID-19.
It is reasonable for employees to experience increased worry, anxiety and stress about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, and the DMIRS said managing the risk to mental health during this time means employees will have better capacity to fulfil their roles and the likelihood of harm to health is reduced.
Employers, managers and supervisors all have an important role to play in preventing and mitigating the impact of workplace psychosocial hazards and risk factors on employees’ mental health by:
As employees are looking for guidance on what to do, what to expect and how to act, DMIRS said calm and trustworthy leadership is important. This is demonstrated through:
Management and supervisor support are also a well-established protective factor that mitigates the impact of psychosocial hazards on employee health, and the DMIRS said to provide supportive management and supervisory practices through:
Workers who are required to spend time in quarantine or isolation at employer-provided accommodation are at higher risk of adverse effects such as stress or anxiety, and DMIRS said employers must consider the psychological, social, physical and environmental factors associated with quarantine and isolation which increase the risk of harm to psychological health.
Information to mitigate stressors for workers quarantining or isolating in employer-provided accommodation due to COVID-19 directions can be found in Mental health considerations for workers required to quarantine or isolate in employer-provided accommodation.