Sunday 26 May 2024

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The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

New Rules On Psychological Hazards At Work

New Rules On Psychological Hazards At Work

Employers can no longer ignore WHS risks.

A recent amendment to the NSW WHS Regulation 2017 means that from 1 October 2022, employers are expressly required to manage psychosocial risks in the workplace.

The new provisions can be found at clauses 55A-55D of the WHS Regulation. They define “psychosocial hazard” and “psychosocial risk” and clarify the appropriate control measures that your employer is required to implement to manage those risks.

So, what are psychosocial hazards?

Examples of psychosocial hazards identified in the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work are:

  • job demands
  • low job control
  • poor support
  • lack of role clarity
  • poor organisational change
    management
  • inadequate reward and recognition
  • traumatic events or material
  • remote work
  • violence and aggression
  • bullying and harassment.
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2 Comments

  • Joanne Harris
    7 July 2023, 12:34 pm

    I find this very hard to believe. I have been bullied in my workplace now for several years. Each time I have reported the bullying, the bullying just escalates further. When I decided to officially submit a workplace issue form, this also made it escalate further, to where I have been forced out of my position, for nearly a year now, with the organisation having done nothing to stop the perpetrator of the bullying, even after investigating and compiling plenty of evidence of this behaviour over a period of many years. There have been four of us who have so far reached the point where we felt there was no other option but to go to our doctor for treatment due to the ongoing bullying, & each of us have had workers compensation claims accepted due to the treatment we have had to endure, over a period of only 3 years, and an office of approximately 16-20 people. Each one of us have had nothing done by the organisation to address the problem, they just put us off work, and then move us into other roles elsewhere in the organisation. This then shows the other office employees that speaking up is not an option, and they have to stay until such times as they can get another job elsewhere, which many of them have done, and many are currently trying to do. I contacted the PSA regarding the bullying also, and have had very little assistance, and have now actually been told that I need to just be happy that the organisation have moved me to another area, that hopefully I will like the new role, and that hopefully it can be made permanent. I am absolutely dumbfounded that this type of bullying is simply overlooked in this day and age, and that even the union are powerless to do anything about it. So to have new rules where employers can no longer ignore WHS risks, and are required to manage psychosocial risks, is obviously not worth the paper it is written on. There is absolutely no point in having rules that do not need to be abided by, which is what I assume this to be, since the union are even incapable of enforcing them.

    REPLY
    • Simon Argue@Joanne Harris
      4 October 2023, 6:15 pm

      Joanne, my heart goes out to you, I am nearing the end of the road you are on.
      Following significant bullying by my Team Leader, where I honestly believed she was going to hit me, I went onto a suitable duties placement as a part of my workers compensation claim, where I have been since April 2019.
      As I cannot return to my role, the organisation has not redeployed me, which the policy says they should be doing, but rather have chosen to medically retire me, with 3 weeks notice, after over 30 years of service.
      You need to have the PSA's backing and a good lawyer, to help you take a stand against the employer, who will never see you as a person, just dollars and cents, as a cost to the organisation.
      Unfortunately this is the way 21st Century employment is,

      REPLY