Get a Heads Up on mental health

Safe Work Australia is encouraging Australian business leaders to give their workplaces a ‘Heads Up’ by becoming involved in an Australian first initiative to take action on mental health in their workplace.

The Heads Up campaign launched last month is a joint initiative by beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, of which Safe Work Australia is a founding member. Today, the Heads Up website unveiled a suite of resources and a kit to assist business to create mentally healthy workplaces.

In throwing her support behind the campaign, Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Baxter acknowledged the many benefits that a healthy workplace – both physical and psychological – can bring to an organisation.

"While the attention is often on a workers’ physical health, focusing on physical AND mental health can have significant return on investments for organisations,” said Ms Baxter.
“Ignoring mental health costs Australian industry billions of dollars each year through increased absenteeism, lower productivity and more compensation claims.”
“Importantly, managing psychological hazards and risks is required by law to ensure the safety of Australian workers.”

Work health and safety regulators have resources that can assist organisations manage mental health in their workplace. One of Safe Work Australia’s contributions to the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance is the release of two fact sheets. Preventing Psychological Injury Under Work Health and Safety Laws assists persons conducting a business or undertaking and workers address psychological health risks to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all persons at work. Workers' Compensation Legislation and Psychological Injury provides a general overview of the employer’s role under workers’ compensation legislation in relation to psychological injuries.

“Managing mental health risks and hazards in workplaces benefits not only workers but also the business itself.”
“I strongly encourage all employers and workers to seriously examine the physical and psychological health needs of their workplace and implement the practical risk management processes to minimise the mental health risks to workers,” said Ms Baxter.
“A business that understands its requirement to protect its workers and manage mental health risks will contribute to the health and wellbeing of its workforce.”
“Safe Work Australia will continue its work with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to encourage business leaders to take action on mental health issues in the workplace.”

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