Psychosocial Hazards - Information, Training, Instruction, or Supervision
Weekly WHS Article 25th May 2022
A PCBU has to provide so far as is reasonably practicable any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of PCBU’s business or undertaking (WHS Act, Section 19(3)(f).
This includes risks that arise from any psychosocial hazards that may exist in your workplace. The Code of Practice Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work has useful advice about providing workers with information, training, instruction or supervision regarding psychosocial risks – see page 22 of this Code of Practice. It says;
Information, training, instruction or supervision
“The PCBU must provide adequate and suitable information, training, instruction or supervision to workers (including supervisors and managers) which has regard to and includes:
the nature of the work and tasks to be carried out by workers
the psychosocial hazards and risks associated with the work
the required control measures including safe systems of work and how to comply with these
how workers should report and respond if a problem or risk arises, and
ensure information, training and instruction is readily understood by any person it is provided to.
A competent person (someone who has acquired through training, qualification or experience, the necessary knowledge and skills to safely carry out the task) should provide the information, training, instruction and supervision.
Uncertainty about how to safely and efficiently do new tasks including using new technology, or that may not have been undertaken for some time, or tasks undertaken during an emergency, and when working on unfamiliar worksites, are relatively common psychosocial hazards. Providing adequate and timely information, training, instruction and supervision are particularly important where the work has inherent risks (e.g. risk of violence for first responders).
In most cases, psychosocial risk management can use a mix of good work design, safe systems of work, and suitable and adequate information, training, instruction, and supervision. While PPE is not a common control for psychosocial risks, in some cases, where the absence of or inadequacy of PPE to control physical risks is causing workers’ concern, this will also need to be addressed. Some examples of common psychosocial risk controls can be seen in Appendix A.
Reasonable adjustments for individual workers
Duty holders may also need, so far as is reasonably practicable, to make reasonable adjustments to the design and management of the work to accommodate the needs of an individual worker to prevent harm (for example, a worker with a disability or returning to work after an injury). There may also be duties under anti- discrimination, privacy and other relevant laws that need to be considered.”
The quotations from the, Code of Practice, Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work, are the copyright work of the owner, the Department of Customer Service, State of NSW and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. For more information visit www.nsw.gov.au/copyright.
25th May 2022