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Organisational Change and Psychosocial Hazards: Insights for Leaders

National Safe Work Month - Week Two Insights

To mark National Safe Work Month we're sharing insights into recent Psychosocial Hazards legislation changes, and how leaders can best understand the impact, and how they are related to organisational change in the workplace

In Week One we talked about the different jurisdictions, and Codes of Practice, as well as the need for leaders and change managers to understand their obligations.

Black Text: National Safe Work Month on yellow background

This week is the special focus for Safe Work Month is on mental health and it's fitting that we zero in on more of the details of the psychosocial hazard legislation and what is absolutely essential for leaders of change to know:

4. Know your hazards from your risks

It's easy to get confused in a world of WHS terminology but learning two definitions will help you to really uncover the core of this legislation and why organisational change is so deeply connected to it's the legislation purpose.

Two key updates to definitions were made as part of this legislative change:

Psychosocial Hazard

A psychosocial hazard is a hazard that arises from, or relates to, the design or management of work, a work environment, plant at a workplace or workplace interactions and behaviours and may cause psychological harm, whether or not the hazard may also cause physical harm.

Image of five hexagons connecting Psychosocial Hazards definition elements: Work Design, Work Environment, Plan, Work Interactions

Psychosocial Risk

A Psychosocial Risk is a risk to the health and safety of a worker or other person from a psychosocial hazard.

Psychosocial hazards cause harm when worker’s experience a frequent, prolonged and/or severe stress* response. This means the harm might happen in one sudden event, or over a period of time with frequent smaller but harmful happenings.

*(Stress is defined as a person’s psychological response (e.g. feelings of anxiety, tension) and physiological response (e.g. the release of stress hormones, or their cardiovascular response) in relation to work demands or threats. Note the two elements of stress here.)

5. Sort your psychosocial safety from your psychological safety

Want to know more about the difference between psychosocial and psychological safety? Check out our handy explainer here.

We will be back next week with more insights into the legislation, what it means, and how leaders and change practitioners can best understand it to deliver effective change outcomes.

Want to bring your team up to speed today on psychosocial hazards and gain the practical tools to be an effective leader of organisational change?

Check out our other blog articles to find out more or work with us now.

Here's a taste of what you expect from partnering with us:

“The program empowered me with a newfound confidence in leading during times of change, and it gave me a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play in such situations.”

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