Psychological injuries are a range of cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms that can interfere with an employee’s life and can significantly affect how they feel, think, behave and interact with others. The most common forms of psychological injuries include, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, adjustment disorders and anxiety.
Examples of psychological hazards in the workplace are bullying, aggression, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and other unreasonable behaviours. In addition to this, poor relationships between employees and their managers, supervisors, colleagues and clients the employee has to interact with in the workplace.
Under the NSW workers compensation legislation an employer can take reasonable action as a defence where a psychological injury is caused by action in the following categories: transfer, demotion, promotion, performance appraisal, discipline, retrenchment or dismissal, and provision of employment benefits.
Strategies for employers to ensure that their duty to protect the mental integrity of employees from serious harm is fulfilled:
- Management commitment to reducing workplace stress.
- Consulting with workers to create and promote a mentally healthy workplace culture.
- Ensuring the organisation has appropriate policies and procedures in place and workers are aware of these.
- Managing workplace psychosocial risk factors by identifying the hazards, assessing and controlling the risks, maintaining and reviewing control measures.
In addition, an employer should include a training program for staff and management about the increasing impacts of work-related mental health risks.
Contact CIRCLE Recruitment & HR to for assistance in protecting your workplace against psychological injuries.
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.