Learn more about psychosocial hazards and how they can affect a workplace.
Updated 9 Dec 2022, Published 18 Nov 2022
Psychosocial hazards are any hazards or risks in one’s environment and society that can cause harm. In a workplace setting, psychosocial hazards are things that can cause stress, which can then affect a person physically, psychologically, or both.
In terms of workplace hazards, psychological safety and psychosocial safety are separate concerns. However, managing psychological safety can help greatly with managing psychological safety and hazards as well.
By definition, anything “psychosocial” refers to the relationships between humans with their thoughts, behaviors, and social environment. It is a term that refers to how mental health, or psychological factors, work with social factors and how they can affect a person. On the other hand, the term “psychological” refers to things, feelings, and experiences that relate to the human mind and mental health.
Following this, it can be said then that psychological factors are an aspect of one’s psychosocial state, and managing it can be very beneficial.
There is no one way to determine if one thing is a psychosocial hazard or not, as each work setup and person is different. However, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), something can be classified as a psychosocial hazard if they affect one or all of the following:
Usually, a psychosocial hazard can be identified by company owners and team leaders based on how they themselves and their staff react to certain stressors and situations. Other ways of identifying them, however, are through:
Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.
According to Safe Work Australia and IOSH, the most common examples of psychosocial hazards can be summarized into the following:
It is essential to manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace to ensure that workers are motivated, safe, and healthy physically and mentally. A psychosocially safe workplace is a workplace that is more encouraging to work in and can help foster better connections between employees.
Psychosocial hazards can cause:
Additionally, psychosocial hazards can also affect the people around the person experiencing them. This includes family, friends, and even coworkers.
Psychosocial hazards have many ways to be addressed, depending on the nature of the hazard. Some hazards may be mitigated by removing certain stressors and simply improving communication between employers and employees, as well as workers and customers. However, some may require more drastic changes, such as restructuring certain organizational processes, relocating or repositioning employees, and asking for help from certain professionals for intervention. Approaching psychosocial hazards with a behavior-based safety approach can also help.
Easily identify psychosocial hazards and stressors by conducting regular risk assessments and safety audits with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor). SafetyCulture is a mobile-ready auditing tool that provides smart and responsive checklists for all your workplace safety needs. Use SafetyCulture to conduct surveys on psychosocial hazards, collect data on injuries, and store everything in the cloud for easy access anytime and anywhere.
To get started, you can either download free psychosocial safety templates from the Public Library and edit them as you see fit or create your own from scratch. You also have the option to have your existing PDF, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint templates converted for SafetyCulture use, allowing you to work on them wherever you are.
With SafetyCulture, you can also:
Get started with some free related templates today, such as:
Roselin Manawis is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture. She has experience in news writing and content marketing across different fields of discipline. Her background in Communication Arts enables her to leverage multimedia and improve the quality of her work. She also contributed as a research assistant for an international study and as a co-author for two books in 2020. With her informative articles, she aims to ignite digital transformation in workplaces around the world.
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