Healthy Work Design

Managing the Risk of Psychosocial Hazards at Work

In March 2023 Back on Track was delighted to attend the Healthy Work Design Forum at Victoria Park, Herston, presented by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.  It was great to see the room full of like-minded people passionate about health, safety, and wellbeing with a particular focus on the introduction of the new code of practice for Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work.  The Code is now enforceable as of 1 April 2023 but the common theme from the day and presenters was that ‘nothing is changing’ in terms of obligations of businesses and employers, it is just now that non-compliance is enforceable. 

As occupational health consultants we are often asked by clients about how to firstly identify but then more importantly control psychosocial hazards in the workplace.  The speakers were all engaging and provided many insights but of particular interest and an excellent summary was provided by Professor Sharon K Parker from Curtain University.  She summarised her SMART approach to work design to address psychosocial hazards in the workplace.  The SMART approach can help business and PCBU’s identify work stressors and then provide real and practical measures to help address these hazards.  Please refer to the summary provided below which highlights work stressors and characteristics of good work design controls based on the themes including stimulating, mastery, agency, relational and tolerable. 

To ensure this approach can work for your business, it is vital that an appropriately qualified professional accurately identifies psychosocial hazards in your workplace.  It may be that an external consultant is required to assist where there may be barriers to workers providing feedback or participating.  Surveys such as the People at Work survey as well as a comprehensive job and task analysis including psychosocial hazards and risk ratings can help provide a framework to guide a SMART type of approach to psychosocial hazard control measures.  Back on Track consultants can assist your business with a range of services to help ensure your business is compliant with the code of practice.  Please contact us to discuss how we could help further.

People at Work Survey

Centre for Transformative Work Design: