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Psychological health for SME’s

Most persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) are aware of their obligations when it comes to managing physical harm risks to their employees. But have you considered psychosocial hazards and factors? Let’s take an overview of psychological health for SME’s to ensure your butt (and head) is covered.

Every business, regardless of its size, has a responsibility under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to stop anyone from being killed, injured or becoming ill because of a workplace or the work being done.

Workers must not deliberately put themselves or anyone else in danger and must obey any instructions that their employer gives them about health and safety.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) considers psychosocial hazards to be a workplace health and safety issue as they can create physical or psychological risk to worker health and safety.

What are psychosocial hazards and factors?

Psychosocial hazards and factors are anything in the design or management of work that increases the risk of work-related stress. Work-related stress, if prolonged and/or severe, can cause both psychological and physical harm. Common psychosocial hazards and factors include:

  • high or low job demand
  • poor support
  • poor organisational change management
  • violent or traumatic incidents
  • poor environmental conditions
  • low job control
  • low role clarity
  • poor workplace relationships
  • remote or isolated work

Let’s take one of these factors and consider the do’s and don’ts of managing this element effectively:

Poor organisational change management


  • Involve workers in the change process via communication and consultation.
  • Identify the key issues of the change and provide information to workers.
  • Ensure workers are informed of the implications of the change on their respective positions and roles.
  • Identify methods of communication to meet the needs of workers in advising of the change process – group meetings, one-on ones, emails.


  • Disregard the impact change may have on individuals or teams, as even minor changes can affect individuals.
  • Keep workers in the dark – keep them informed. Better information = less chance of assumption.

To effectively manage risks, a PCBU should:

  1. identify hazards
  2. assess risks
  3. control risks
  4. review control measures to ensure they are working as planned.

Like to know more about managing psychological health for SME’s? Bare Bones Consulting specialises in helping our clients with the right HR and employment policies, procedures and systems for their business.

Whether you know exactly what you want or aren’t sure what you might need, we’re here to help…and we make it simple and cost effective for you. Call us today or email your enquiry through our “Contact Us” page here.

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.