Infographic: Four steps to preventing psychological injury at work

This infographic shows how to apply the risk management process to manage psychosocial hazards


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This infographic shows how to apply the four step risk management process to prevent work-related psychosocial injury and illness.

For more information go to our National Guide: Model Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work

Data from the infographic

Under work health and safety laws, psychosocial hazards and risks are treated the same as physical hazards and risks.

On average, 7,984 Australians are compensated for work related mental health conditions each year.

9% of all serious workers’ compensation claims are for work‑related mental health conditions.

Psychosocial hazards are anything that increases the risk of work-related stress including:

  • Job demands 
  • Violence and aggression
  • Bullying 
  • Harassment including sexual harassment
  • Conflict or poor workplace relationships and interactions
  • Traumatic events
  • Low job control
  • Poor support
  • Remote or isolated work
  • Lack of role clarity
  • Poor organisational change management
  • Inadequate reward and recognition
  • Poor organisational justice
  • Poor physical environment

Four steps to prevention: 
Safe Work Australia has developed a step-by-step process for managing psychological injury, intervening early and for taking action to prevent your workers becoming ill or sustaining a psychological injury. All these steps must be supported by consultation.

Step 1: Identify
Identify psychological hazards and risks by: 

  • talking and listening to your workers
  • inspecting your workplace
  • taking note of how your workers interact
  • reviewing reports and records, and 
  • using a survey tool to gather information from staff. 

Step 2: Assess
Consider what could happen if workers are exposed to the identified hazards and risks. Many hazards and their associated risks are well‑known but some may need to be identified through a formal assessment process. 

Step 3: Control
Where possible, eliminate the risk. This is always the safest option, but if it isn’t possible, minimise the risk as much as possible through planning and prevention.

Step 4: Review
Maintain, monitor and review control measures when necessary. It is important to regularly review control measures to ensure they remain effective.

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Health, illness and disease
Managing health and safety
Disease and illness
Identify, assess and control hazards
Mental health
Model WHS Laws
Risk management