WA: new psychosocial hazard regulations in force

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.
Tuesday, 10 January, 2023 - 12:30
Policy & legislation
Western Australia

Work health and safety regulations that require businesses to eliminate psychosocial risks (or to minimise them so far as is reasonably practicable) recently came into effect in Western Australia.

This new duty places psychosocial hazards on the same footing as other significant hazards such as falls or operating machinery.

PCBUs already have a duty to manage psychosocial risks under the primary duty of care in the Work Health and Safety Act 2020.

The new regulations, which came into effect on 24 December 2022, form part of the McGowan Government’s response to the report Enough is Enough, sexual harassment against women in the FIFO mining industry.

“Psychosocial hazards are just as important as physical hazards and must be dealt with in the workplace, so it’s an important step to have regulations specifically covering mental health issues,” said WA Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston.

“The regulations will help industry to better understand the requirements for managing psychosocial hazards, and will also ensure that the regulator – in the form of WorkSafe inspectors – can enforce those requirements.

“The Commission for Occupational Health and Safety has released various codes of practice to provide guidance on the laws, including the Code of practice – Psychosocial hazards in the workplace, which should be present in every WA workplace.”