Mental health and wellbeing is defined by the World Health Organisation as 'a state in which every individual realises his/her potential, can cope with normal stressors of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his/her community.'
Raising awareness of workplace mental health and wellbeing matters. A mentally health and safe workplace is defined as one that promotes employee mental health and wellbeing, protects mental health by reducing work-related risk factors, actively prevents, and addresses mental injury and illness from occurring.
Issues impacting on mental health have been identified by the Department as hazards requiring management in all Department workplaces. These hazards must be included in the workplace OHS Risk Register.
Relevant sections of the OHSMS
Managing psychological/mental health of employees
Managing psychological/mental health of employees in the workplace follows the same risk management principles as in physical hazard and risk management. This includes:
Commitment and leadership
The Department's Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) Policy reflects the Department's commitment to providing employees, students, contractors, volunteers and visitors with a healthy and safe working and learning environment and mitigating physical and psychosocial hazards and risks.
Procedure that outlines consistent approach in planning Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) activities in Department workplaces to manage psychological health and safety.
Provide and sustain the infrastructure and resources needed to achieve conformity with Department procedures in managing workplace psychological health and safety.
Evaluation and corrective action
Establish and maintain procedures to monitor, measure, and record psychological health and safety and the effectiveness of the procedure in managing psychological health.
Establish and maintain a process to conduct scheduled management review of the procedure in managing psychological health including the review and analysis of key outcome data and a review process to which the goals of a psychologically healthy and safe workplace are being achieved.
Strategies to mitigate psychological risks
Strategies that can be implemented to mitigate psychosocial risks include:
- encouraging employees to participate in decision-making
- demonstrating fairness in management style and application of policies
- training and evaluating supervisors on communication and people skills
- providing flexible work arrangements
- providing work-life balance policies and practices and a supportive culture
- showing appreciation for employees’ efforts
- ensuring the workplace environment is respectful to all workers
- measuring employee satisfaction regularly and acting on findings
- providing employees with the information and resources they need to do their jobs well
- addressing work overload issues
What do you need to do?
The following need to be actioned in order to manage psychological hazards:
- Identify psychological hazards and record them in the workplace’s OHS Risk Register
- Identify the cause / workplace factors using the Mental Health and Wellbeing Guide
- Undertake risk assessments of the hazards and workplace factors using the Risk Assessment Template
- Implement and record risk controls in the workplace’s OHS Risk Register
- Monitor and review controls
- Provide information, instruction and training on psychological health and wellbeing
- Document and carry out corrective actions on reported incidents
The Workplace Manager and/or Management OHS Nominee are to record additional controls in the OHS Risk Register and Risk Assessment Template or equivalent.
Support Services and Resources
The Department is committed to the positive MHW of our employees, and currently offer a range of mental health and wellbeing supports and resources.
Legislation, Guidance and Codes of Practice
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
- OHS Advisory Service on Ph: 1300 074 715 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Security Services Unit on (03) 9589 6266 (24 hour service)