NSW will today become the first state in Australia to introduce an industry-wide Code of Practice to formally clarify the legal responsibilities businesses have to address hazards in the workplace that have the potential to cause psychological or physical harm.
Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor today released the Code of Practice: Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work which encompasses risks to psychological health covering all NSW workplaces.
“This Code comes after our research found only one in five NSW businesses reported having a basic awareness on how to control work-related psychological health risks and less than ten per cent of all workplaces said they have an established approach to handling these issues,” Mr Anderson said
“Every workplace in NSW has a legal duty of care to their employees to protect them from psychosocial hazards such as bullying and harassment, violence in the workplace and importantly, remote and isolated work.
“This new Code sets out what employers need to be doing under the state’s Work Health and Safety legislation to protect their workers. It will also be used in court as evidence if workplaces fail to take their responsibilities seriously.”
Mrs Taylor said extensive consultation was undertaken in the development of the framework, with input from employers, employees, workplace safety experts and state and national mental health commissions.
“The new code will take the guesswork out for business owners and staff by providing clear guidelines on avoiding potential psychological hazards and safely meeting new and existing challenges together in the workplace,” said Mrs Taylor.