Psychosocial hazards in the spotlight

09 October 2023

Work health and safety (WHS) laws are largely harmonised across Australia through a set of uniform laws (the model WHS laws). All states and territories other than Victoria have implemented the model WHS laws. Victoria has similar duties under its Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004  (Vic).

Under these WHS laws, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must manage the risk of psychosocial hazards in the workplace. For workers, the main PCBU is usually their employer.

A psychological hazard is a hazard that arises from or in relation to the design or management of work, the working environment, plant at a workplace, or workplace interactions or behaviours that may cause psychological and/or physical harm. Workplace psychosocial hazards are related to the psychological and social conditions of a workplace rather than just the physical conditions.

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