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Psychosocial Code of Practice

Queensland’s statutory requirements around managing psychosocial hazards are changing in April 2023, when amendments to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld) and the new Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice 2022 (Code) commence.

The Code is an approved code of practice under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). It provides information for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) on how psychosocial hazards and risks can be controlled or managed and can be used to help decide what’s reasonably practicable to reduce risk

Under WHS Regulation section 55A, 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. In severe cases, exposure to psychosocial hazards can lead to death by suicide.

In the workplace, workers are likely to be exposed to a combination of psychosocial hazards. Some hazards may always be present, while others may be present only occasionally. Common psychosocial hazards that arise from, or are related to, work can include:

  • low job control
  • poor workplace relationships, including interpersonal conflict
  • poor support
  • low role clarity
  • poor organisational change management
  • low reward and recognition
  • violence and aggression
  • bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment.

The Code of Practice is assists employers in:

  • identifying hazards;
  • assessing risks;
  • selecting Control Measures;
  • maintaining and reviewing control measures; and
  • responding to complaints, incidents or reports of psychosocial hazards at work.

Under the new statutory requirements, employers will be required to manage psychosocial hazards at work to a level at least equivalent to managing physical hazards. Penalties associated with failing to manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace can be severe, with Individual (PCBU or officer of a PCBU) facing fines of up to $600,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both.

Need help navigating your Psychosocial Code of Practice obligations and develop a mentally healthy workplace?  Give Bare Bones Consulting a call. We keep things simple…and this allows you to focus on growing your business. That’s good for your head, right?

  • 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.