Health is defined as being both physical and psychological, and while many employers have put in place measures to guard against the physical injuries, the management of psychological injuries is sometimes neglected.
In the workplace, psychological injuries are considered to be forms of mental harm, damage, dysfunction, and impairment caused to an employee as a direct result of neglect or failure on the employer’s side.
These must have a noticeable level of disturbance to the worker’s pre-existing psychological state such that it interferes in a significant way with the individual’s ability to function. In such a case, the employee is eligible to sue for compensation.
Work-related psychological injuries continue to be a challenging issue across all Australian workers compensation jurisdictions. It is therefore imperative for employers to institute a proactive approach to risk manage all foreseeable psychosocial hazards in the work environment. Such hazards include a poorly designed or managed work environment, workplace violence, a traumatic event, bullying or harassment, fatigue, bullying or harassment and excessive or prolonged work pressures. All these factors can increase the likelihood of workers experiencing a stress response.
The risk of psychological harm can be reduced by developing effective measures to manage the work environment and systems of work. Although these may vary from workplace to workplace, it is important that all parties understand their role in the process. Through the provision of information and training, employees can be protected from psychological health risks.
Treatment and return to work
Early diagnosis and intervention can help reduce the number of employees who are experiencing psychological problems as well as prevent symptoms from progressing to full-blown psychological injuries. Again, early treatment can help employees to resume their duties within the shortest possible time. To the employer, it can help eliminate the hidden costs surrounding absenteeism, sick leave, income protection and workplace disruption.
At Recovery Partners our team of experts can help your company strike a sustainable balance between managing employees’ wellbeing and performance imperatives.
Our services are available in multiple locations nationwide. For more information, you can make enquiries here. Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789).
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 www.workcover.nsw.au
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