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

For more information go to our National Guide: Work-related psychological health and safety – A systematic approach to meeting your duties

Data from the infographic

Prolonged or severe work‑related stress can cause psychological and physical injury.

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

Poor psychological health and safety is expensive. It’s estimated to cost Australian organisations $6 billion per annum in lost productivity. 

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

  • high or low job demands
  • low job control
  • poor support
  • poor workplace relationships 
  • low role clarity 
  • poor change management 
  • low reward and recognition
  • poor organisational justice
  • poor environmental conditions 
  • remote or isolated work
  • violent or traumatic events

What is work-related stress?
Stress is a physical, mental and emotional reaction that a worker may experience when the demands of their work exceeds their ability or resources to cope.

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.

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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