4 April 2024 posted by Recovery Partners

Psychological safety at work is about an individual feeling safe to share thoughts and ideas without being reprimanded and psychosocial safety encompasses the whole work environment, from job clarity to colleagues.

Feeling psychologically safe is part of psychosocial safety.

What is psychosocial safety?

Psychosocial safety in the workplace means employers are required to proactively identify psychosocial hazards within their workplaces and implement practical changes to eliminate or minimise the risk of psychological harm to workers.

Safe Work Australia define psychosocial hazards as anything in the design or management of work that increases the risk of work-related stress.

They relate to demands within the workplace that can be detrimental to an employee’s wellbeing if not appropriately addressed or adequate resources are not available to support the worker.

Job demands include:

  • Role overload
  • Role ambiguity
  • Role conflict
  • Cognitive demand
  • Emotional demand
  • Group task conflict
  • Group relationship conflict

What is psychological safety?

Psychological safety refers to the feeling of being able to speak up, take risks, and make mistakes without fear of negative consequences.

The term psychological safety was first coined by Amy Edmondson, a professor at Harvard Business School. She described it as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.”

Psychological safety focuses on the interpersonal dynamics within a team or group and psychosocial safety is about broader organisational factors that influence employees’ mental well-being and overall psychological health in the workplace. Both are important for fostering healthy, productive work environments.

How we can help foster a positive work environment

Recovery Partners provides psychosocial safety services.

  • ISO 45003 Psychosocial system gap analysis/ audit
  • Psychosocial/ culture surveys
  • Psychosocial risk assessments and profiling
  • Psychosocial training
  • Policy and procedure development

Recovery Partners reviews and audits policies and procedures. Download our free Psychosocial Document Checklist today. Please note, this checklist is a guide only. 

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/