Training course helps employers manage psychosocial hazards

Mastering the art of difficult conversations at work is not always easy.

When was the last time you had a difficult conversation with your staff? Have you ever dreaded those conversations, delayed them or simply avoided them?

For it is difficult to discuss or raise topics that may make us, or other people feel uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, talking about mental health at work is still a topic which is difficult to discuss in many workplaces. There is still a stigma around mental health and many workers feel uncomfortable about discussing and engaging in this conversation.

However, recent changes to Australian WHS Laws have placed a spotlight on psychosocial hazards and the impact on workers’ mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. These legislative shifts have demanded a proactive approach by employers to manage psychosocial hazards which are anything that could cause psychological harm or harm someone’s mental health.

In fact, psychosocial hazards need to be managed in the same way as physical health and safety risks.

This starts with knowing and understanding what psychosocial hazards are and consultation. This does not require you to be an expert on mental health, but if you are an employer, people manager or leader you must consult with your staff to identify hazards, assess risks and decide on measures to eliminate or minimise those risks.

Highway Wellness takes a dynamic approach to psychosocial hazards by delivering an online training program emphasising the different stages of the consultation process. This training provides an overview on each psychosocial hazard with an emphasis on the five steps of the consultation processes:

  Identifying risk

  Obtaining staff’s views

  Shared proposed changes


  Monitoring and review

What makes this online training dynamic is its use of art, images, symbols and pictures to encourage feedback, engagement and staff’s point of view.

Staff respond instinctively to a series of pictures within each specific hazard, revealing important insights and challenging assumptions to identify and mange identified risks.

Effective consultation and communication begins with specific presentations, followed by visual feedback images, where all staff are encouraged to pick and respond to their picture choice. Inviting them to reflect, explain and express their point of view. This allows staff to be honest, open and collaborate in making decisions to eliminate, minimise, implement and monitor identified hazards.

All employers have a legal and moral obligation to create a mentally healthy workplace and ensure staff have the necessary resources to perform their jobs safely.

Highway Wellness has made starting the conversation easier by providing a consultation program to know and implement a strategy for managing psychosocial risks.

Contact Deborah today and start building your consultation skills and protecting your business. Phone: 0466 787 567 or email support@highwaywellness.com.au.

Deborah Ruth holds accredited Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and Art Therapy and has an in-depth knowledge of wellness, safety and imagery to initiate dialogue and shape the future of psychosocial wellbeing in your workplace.

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