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WA: public comment sought on psychosocial hazards code of practice

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.
Date: 
Sunday, 15 August, 2021 - 12:30
Category: 
Policy & legislation
Location: 
Western Australia

WA’s Commission for Occupational Safety and Health is seeking public comment on a code of practice for psychosocial hazards in the workplace.

The code is intended to provide practical guidance for workplaces where workers may be exposed to psychological and social hazards such as inappropriate behaviours, violence and aggression, fatigue, burnout, stress and trauma, all of which can be harmful to health.

While this public consultation relates to the draft psychosocial hazards in the workplace code of practice, there are also complementary codes that cover violence and aggression at work and workplace behaviour (also open for public comment).

It was important to make managing psychosocial hazards a priority in workplaces, and everyone had a duty to do so, according to WorkSafe WA commissioner Darren Kavanagh.

“Everyone who has a duty to prevent or minimise hazards at workplaces, including employers, employees, self-employed people and safety and health representatives and committees, should use this code,” Kavanagh said.

“Managing psychosocial hazards can be challenging, so a proactive and comprehensive approach is needed, and effective consultation and communication are critical.

“This code provides reasonably practicable guidance for a risk management approach that should then be tailored to the unique demands of each workplace.”

The Commission for Occupational Safety and Health is made up of the main stakeholders in workplace safety and health in WA, and Kavanagh said it has recognised that this is an extremely important issue.

As a result of the acknowledgment of this priority issue, the Commission has produced a draft publication on which it is now seeking public comment.

“Anyone who has an interest in workplace safety and health should consider submitting comments on this code, thereby contributing to the safety and health of all Western Australians,” said Kavanagh.

Comments on the draft code are open until Monday 11 October. Comments should be submitted to safetycomms@dmirs.wa.gov.au.