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Intelligent case management to better manage Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace (Data Insights from SafeWork Australia)

Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace

Snapshot: Safework Australia Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace

SafeWork Australia has recently published data highlighting the impact that exposure to work related hazards, including psychological hazards, is having.

Serious mental injury claims are increasing

The data confirms that mental health conditions account for an increasing proportion of serious workers compensation claims and has significantly increased over the past 5 years.

Most common forms of psychological harm

Their data highlights that of approximately 10,000 serious mental stress claims in 2021 – 2022, the highest proportion were attributed to:

  • Work related harassment and/or bullying (27.5%)
  • Work pressure (25.2%)
  • Exposure to workplace or occupational violence (16.4%).

Workers with claims for mental health conditions experienced poorer return to work outcomes. 

Mental injury related claims require more time off work and cost more

Their psychological injuries were also more likely to lead to longer times off work, and high amounts of compensation that for physical injuries. The median compensation paid for mental health conditions was 3 x higher than that of all injuries and illnesses, while the median time lost was 4 x greater than that of all injuries and illnesses.

Managing psychosocial hazards at work

To meet their duties to ensure health and safety, employers must eliminate or minimise psychosocial risks as far as reasonably practicable.  This includes taking a risk management approach to identify hazards, assess and control risks, and continuously review control measures.

Reporting mechanisms and identification of trends

SafeWork Australia has published a Code of Practice for managing psychosocial hazards at work.  One of their recommendations is to establish a mechanism for workers to report hazards in a privacy protected way, with an option for reporting anonymously where possible.  This can make reporting of issues more likely, so that they can be proactively managed and prevented.

Another recommendation from SafeWork is to collect information so that trends relating to hazards can be identified.  For example, trends may show that workers in a particular location are exposed more frequently to certain types of hazards, which could indicate a problem with the design of work, or the way in which it is carried out.  Identification of trends can then inform your risk assessment to better prevent worker harm and the associated costs to the business.  

Rely enables organisations to better prevent and manage psychosocial hazards at work through anonymous reporting options, intelligent case management, and trend reporting.  Book a demo to learn more.

Further reading:

SafeWork Australia Code of Practice for managing psychosocial hazards at work. 

SafeWork Australia Data Report Psychological health and safety in the workplace

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