Week 2 - Mental Health - National Safe Work Month

This page provides information to support week 2 of National Safe Work Month 2021: Mental health.

This page provides information to support week 2 of National Safe Work Month: Mental health. 

This includes identifying and managing the psychosocial risks which can cause harm to both mental and physical health. It also includes information to promote awareness of World Mental Health day on Sunday 10 October 2021.

PCBUs must eliminate or minimise work-related psychosocial risks to protect their workers’ mental and physical health. 

This October, think safe. work safe. be safe. – identify and manage the psychosocial hazards at your workplace.

Think safe. work safe. be safe. - Mental Health 

This October, think safe, work safe and be safe and manage psychosocial hazards at your workplace #ThinkWorkBeSafe.

Under work health and safety laws, PCBUs have a duty to protect workers from psychosocial risks as well as physical risks. The best way to do this is by applying the same risk management process used to manage physical risks, including consulting with workers

Safe Work Australia has a range of resources to assist PCBUs and workers to understand their WHS responsibilities, identify risks and manage control measures to reduce the risks. 

Don’t forget psychosocial hazards when you manage health and safety at your work. 

Mental Health and Psychosocial hazards

Psychosocial hazards include:

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

People at Work online psychosocial risk assessment tool

Workplaces can use the People at Work online risk assessment tool to identify and manage work-related risks to psychological health and compare themselves to other workplaces. 

This free online risk assessment tool is easy to use and includes supporting resources for businesses. 

Work health and safety laws require employers to eliminate or minimise work-related psychosocial risks as far as is reasonably practical. Use the People at Work online assessment tool to help your workplace identify, assess and control psychosocial risks.

Think safe

Reduce the risk of your workers developing a psychological injury by managing psychosocial risks this October and beyond. 

Steps to prevent psychological injury at work 

Safe Work Australia’s Infographic: Four steps to preventing psychological injury at work shows how the risk management process can be applied to psychosocial risks.

Step 1: 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. 

Step 2: Assess risks 

Consider what could happen if workers are exposed to the identified hazards and risks. 

Step 3: Control risks 

Where possible, eliminate the risk. This is always the safest option, but if it isn’t possible, minimise the risk so far as is reasonably practicable through planning and prevention. 

Step 4: Review and maintain control measures 

Maintain, monitor and review control measures regularly to ensure they remain effective. 

Consult your workers throughout the process. You should use agreed consultation processes such as health and safety representatives or committees if you have them.

Work safe 

If you have identified psychosocial hazards at your work – treat them like all other WHS hazards and manage risks by implementing effective control measures. 

Be Safe 

Create a WHS culture in your workplace that protects workers’ mental health. 

See resources we have developed to support you to identify and manage psychosocial risks in the workplace:

Supporting information

Safe Work Australia has developed a range of resources to assist PCBU’s and workers in understanding their WHS responsibilities, identifying risks and managing control measures to reduce the risks.