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How to Spot and Manage Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace

Are you ready for ISO 45003: Psychological Health and Safety at Work?

What are
Psychosocial Hazards?

Psychosocial workplace hazards occur when a worker perceives the demands of their role exceeds their ability or resources to cope. That is, psychosocial hazards occur when your workers experience stress at work. The stress itself is not an injury, but if it becomes frequent, prolonged or severe it can cause psychological and physical harm.

In Australia the most common psychosocial hazard causing workplace stress and psychological harm are job demands.

Common job demands include:

  • Time – unrealistic timeframes, long hours, shift work
  • Cognitive – high repetition/monotonous work, complexity or challenging decision making.
  • Workload – long periods of insufficient work or unrealistic or unachievable workload
  • Physical – sitting or standing for long periods, unpleasant or hazardous conditions.
  • Environment – remote/isolated work, noise, temperature, air quality.

As a result, workers can experience the following injuries as a result of psychosocial hazards:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTDS)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Chronic disease
  • Physical injury following fatigue

Australia’s new Code of Practice for
Managing Psychosocial Hazards

In July of 2022, a new code called the ‘Managing psychosocial hazards at work’ was released by Safe Work Australia.

This was in response to evidence showing that workers, despite our OH&S efforts were experiencing harm at work. We have eliminated or controlled hazards relating to ergonomic hazards such as manual handling, safety hazards such as slips trips and falls, biological and chemical hazards but still had work to do to address workplace organisation hazards, which are now referred to as psychosocial hazards.

Now, all Australia workplaces are legally required to manage psychosocial hazards to protect the mental and physical well-being of their employees. As a workplace health specialist, KINNECT is uniquely positioned to help you address your obligations.


Download Managing Psychosocial Risks at Work, Model Code of Practice

How to Manage
Psychosocial Hazards

Here are the steps your organisation can take:

  1. Identify potential psychosocial hazards in your workplace
  2. Assess the level of risk these psychosocial hazards pose
  3. Implement measures to control those risks
  4. Regularly review those measures to make sure they’re effective.

At KINNECT we have 25 years’ experience in assisting employers to control and review their OH&S risks to create health certainty at work. We are here to support you in this process, so please contact us to find our how we can help you and your unique needs.

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Psychological Job Demands Analyses

Psychological Job Demands Analysis (PJDA) is a method used to assess the psychological demands associated with a particular job or work environment. The analysis focuses on identifying the specific mental and emotional requirements of the job, such as problem-solving skills, decision-making abilities, communication skills, and stress levels.

PJDA is used to understand the psychological demands of a job and help identify areas that may pose a risk to employee well-being, mental health, and job satisfaction. This information can then be used to develop strategies to reduce or manage these risks and ensure that the job requirements are appropriate for the employees performing them.

Psychological RISc Screen

At KINNECT, we have created a tool called the Psychological RISc (Resilience and Integrity Scale) Screen to help identify individuals who may be more susceptible to psychological harm in the workplace. This screening tool is easy to use and highly effective in evaluating the psychological risks of both potential and current employees.

With the Psychological RISc Screen, you can assess the psychological risk of job candidates before they join your workforce. Additionally, you can monitor the mental health of your current employees to ensure their well-being is being looked after. Our aim is to help you create a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.

Adjustment to Injury Counselling

Adjustment to injury counseling is a type of therapy that helps individuals cope with the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of an injury or illness. The counseling is typically provided by trained professionals, such as psychologists or counselors, who specialize in working with individuals who have experienced physical or mental trauma.

The goal of adjustment to injury counseling is to support individuals in developing effective coping strategies and skills to manage the challenges associated with their injury or illness. The counseling may involve providing emotional support, helping individuals manage pain, addressing depression or anxiety related to the injury, and providing guidance on lifestyle changes needed to aid in recovery.

Psychological Injury Management

Psychological injury management is a process that involves addressing and managing the psychological impact of an injury or illness on an individual. It focuses on the psychological well-being of the individual and aims to support them in recovering from their injury or illness.

The aim of psychological injury management is to help individuals recover from their injury or illness and return to their pre-injury level of functioning. This may involve developing a return-to-work plan, making workplace accommodations, and collaborating with healthcare professionals, employers, and insurers to support the individual’s recovery.

Effective psychological injury management can help reduce the impact of psychological harm caused by an injury or illness and improve an individual’s overall well-being, leading to better outcomes for both the individual and the organization they work for.

Psychological Capacity Evaluation

A Psychological Capacity Evaluation (PCE) is an assessment that evaluates an individual’s psychological health and ability to perform their job safely and effectively. It also measures an individual’s cognitive and psychological capacity with respect to their role. The evaluation is conducted by a KINNECT Psychologist and provides a baseline measurement of an individual’s current symptoms and fitness for work. KINNECT’s Registered Psychologists, who have extensive experience in workplace rehabilitation, injury management, and psychological injury counseling, conduct the evaluation.

Physical Conditioning Programs

Physical activity can be an effective form of treatment for psychological injuries. Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and promote overall mental health. Physical activity can also help individuals manage the physical symptoms of psychological injuries, such as chronic pain or tension.

In addition to the mental and physical health benefits, physical activity can also provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose, which can be especially important for individuals struggling with psychological injuries. Exercise can help individuals build self-esteem and confidence, and promote a sense of control over their bodies and their lives.

Blogpost: How KINNECT can help your business to manage psychosocial hazards

Further Resources

In addition to the new model WHS Regulations and Code of Practice from SafeWork Australia, each state and territory has published a Code of Practice and toolkit resources.

Use the links below to find resources specific to your jurisdiction.


We’re are here for you

Our diverse multi-disciplinary team includes KINNECT Psychologists and Rehabilitation Counsellors who can support your employees.

We believe in the power of good work.

There are powerful benefits that ‘good work’ can provide in supporting an injured worker’s recovery. That’s why recovery at work forms an integral part of our approach.

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