On psychosocial hazards, HR and OHS are getting closer……. slowly

In narrow terms, the occupational health and safety (OHS) profession has largely neglected the management of psychological harm in workplaces. Human Resources (HR) has been the “go-to” on this issue, but various government inquiries have identified major shortcomings in the HR approach. In a recent podcast, Tony Morris of law firm Ashurst interviewed an HR …

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Psychosocial hazards are now, formally, occupational diseases

On 25 March 2010, the International Labour Organization released an updated list of occupational diseases.  On the ILO website, it is stated that “Mental and behavioural disorders have for the first time, been specifically included in the ILO list.” All occupational diseases, including psychosocial hazards, had to satisfy the following criteria in order to be … Continue reading “Psychosocial hazards are now, formally, occupational diseases”

When psychosocial hazards originate from poor management

There are still some OHS professionals who are uncomfortable with approaching workplace hazards that do not involve nip-points and energy-transfer.  In fact there are some who can’t cope with the industrial relations interplay with occupational health and safety. A major industrial relations problem ran for some time at Tristar Steering and Suspension.  The absurdity of this …

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Bystanders, safety hazards and prevention of harm – “what you do or don’t do”

Occupational health and safety (OHS) relies on workers to “blow the whistle” on the existence of hazards to their employers, even though the process is not considered whistleblowing. The avoidance of many workplace hazards has always relied on bystanders – one’s work colleagues who may say “watch out!” In recent years, the action of notifying …

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Australian safety group calls for a Code of Practice on psychosocial risks

The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) is making serious efforts to increase its relevance to Australia’s occupational health and safety (OHS) profession and the broader community.  Around International Women’s Day, the SIA released a media statement calling for action on workplace bullying, harassment and abuse....

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Australia’s psychosocial barometer provides strong evidence for policy and corporate change

OnlineMBA.com recently uploaded a video about “The True Cost of a Bad Boss“.  It is a good summary of the spread of negative organisational and employee effects that can result from poor management  poor understanding and poor communication.  It is well worth remembering this spread when determining the best way to manage workplace safety and increase … Continue reading “Australia’s psychosocial barometer provides strong evidence for policy and corporate change”

Considering organisational violence may provide a more effective path to controlling psychosocial issues at work

Vaughan Bowie is an Australian academic who has chosen workplace violence as his major area of interest. Bowie came to general prominence earlier this century with several books and his contribution to the WorkcoverNSW guidance on workplace violence. His research has taken him to look at “organisational violence” and in October 2012, he addressed the 3rd International … Continue reading “Considering organisational violence may provide a more effective path to controlling psychosocial issues at work”