SafeWork auditing mental health

Public news

SafeWork SA inspectors will visit and audit workplaces over the next few months to ensure they are appropriately managing risks to workers' psychological health arising from inappropriate workplace behaviours, the regulator has announced.

The move follows the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission's recent recommendation for SafeWork to conduct a harassment-related WHS compliance audit of the State's parliamentary workplaces and warning that the WHS regulator is increasingly targeting incidents of sexual and discriminatory misconduct.

SafeWork said its inspectors will visit businesses with the primary aim of ensuring they understand their obligations around psychological risks like bullying and harassment.

It referred to SuperFriend's 2020 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Survey report, which shows that 55.1 per cent of workers believe their workplaces do not take any steps to address mental health issues.

"Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace and this extends to psychological safety, not only physical safety," SafeWork executive director Martyn Campbell said.

"Like all work health and safety hazards, [psychological] risks need to be managed in accordance with WHS legislative requirements," he said.

Campbell noted there a many online resources on creating psychologically safe and healthy workplaces, including People at Work, which he recently launched on a free digital platform in his role as chair of the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities.

If members are contacted by SafeWork SA and need assistance, please contact the WR team on wr@mtasant.com.au, or on 8291 2000.