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Psychosocial hazards

Last updated December 2022

This chapter examines your obligations to manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace and explains practical steps to reduce the risks.

What are psychosocial hazards?

Definition: Psychosocial Hazards

Psychosocial hazards are hazards that may cause psychological and physical harm arising from or in relation to:
- the design or management of work;
- the working environment and equipment; and
- workplace interactions or behaviours.

There is no limit to the type of psychosocial hazards that may exist in your workplace. Examples of psychosocial hazards that may exist in a workplace include:

  • bullying;
  • sexual harassment;
  • aggression or violence;
  • exposure to traumatic events or content;
  • high job demands;
  • low job demands;
  • low job control;
  • poor support;
  • poor organisational justice;
  • low role clarity;
  • poor environmental conditions;
  • remote or isolated work;
  • poor organisational change management;
  • low recognition and reward; and
  • poor workplace relationships.
Tip: Often there can be a combination of psychosocial hazards which, together, can lead to a risk of injury.
Important: Psychosocial hazards can generate a psychosocial risk. A common risk is the development of a mental health condition, but psychosocial hazards can also lead to workers suffering a physical injury, for example, if they are stressed or fatigued.