Managing risks

Psychosocial hazards should be managed in the same way as physical WHS hazards.  

You must eliminate or minimise psychological health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable. This process is known as risk management and involves: 

  • identifying the hazards  

  • assessing the associated risks 

  • implementing control measures to eliminate or minimise risks, and 

  • regularly reviewing control measures to ensure they remain effective.  

You must do these things in consultation with your workers and any HSRs if you have them. 

Psychosocial hazards 

The workplace hazards that create risks of harm to psychological (mental) health are known as psychosocial hazards. These hazards create stress which, when excessive or prolonged, can cause both psychological and physical harm.   

Psychosocial hazards can come from:  

  • the way the work or job is designed, organised and managed 

  • work relationships and interactions, including bullying, harassment, discrimination, aggression and violence 

  • the equipment, working environment or requirements to undertake duties in hazardous environments. 

Psychosocial hazards include: 

  • high or low job demands 

  • violence and aggression 

  • harassment, including sexual harassment 

  • bullying 

  • low job control  

  • poor support 

  • conflict or poor workplace relationships and interactions 

  • lack of role clarity  

  • poor organisational change management  

  • inadequate reward and recognition 

  • poor organisational justice  

  • poor physical environment 

  • remote or isolated work 

  • traumatic events.  

Identify, assess and control psychosocial hazards in the same way as physical hazards and risks. More information is available in our Guide: Work-related psychological health and safety: A systematic approach to meeting your duties

People at Work online psychosocial risk assessment tool 

People at work 2

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 action psychosocial risks.