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Mental Health in the Work Health and Safety Act (WA) 2020

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace is becoming an increasingly important consideration for organisations. 

Most humans spend a large portion of their life on this planet at work. Our experience at work, therefore, plays a significant part in our overall happiness and wellbeing. 

Employees have increased their expectations in terms of well-being and work, and regulatory bodies have expanded their capabilities and requirements to better protect and cater for people’s psychological wellbeing.

Work Health and Safety Act (WA) 2020

The Work Health and Safety Act (WA) 2020 (‘WHS Act’) was introduced to replace its legislative predecessor, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984. The WHS Act aims to better protect West Australian workers by imposing broader responsibilities and tougher penalties on the various types of employers.

Within the WHS Act, in Section 4, ‘Health’ is defined as being inclusive of both physical and psychological health. 

The WHS Act places a primary duty of care, on all persons conducting a business or undertaking, to ensure the health and safety of workers, so far as it is reasonably practical, by eliminating health and safety risks. This duty of care is therefore inclusive of a duty to protect the psychological health of workers.

To maintain a mentally healthy workplace, an organisation needs to continually be monitoring and addressing health, safety and wellbeing concerns in and due to, the work environment. This includes the:

  • organisation and design of work
  • workplace culture
  • physical environment
  • facilities provided.

The below video from the West Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety, provides a good overview of what mental health in the workplace looks like. They also have a Mentally Healthy Workplaces area on their website with lots of handy resources to help organisations protect and promote mental health. 

The Benefits of Mentally Healthy Workplaces

For organisations of all sizes across all industries, a focus on optimising the workplace experience to promote employee well-being can unlock tremendous benefits.

  1. Attracting and Retaining Talent
    Organisations that protect and promote psychological well-being are better positioned to attract and retain high-performing talent
  2. Improving Performance and Productivity
    When employees are happy at work they work better. Ensuring that people feel happy, comfortable, and empowered at work will help to foster a culture of high-performance and innovation
  3. Optimising Operations
    Quality teams, reduced staff turnover, and empowered employees all contribute to optimising an organisation’s operations and improving business performance

ISO 45003 for Managing Mental Health

ISO 45003 is the first internationally accepted standard for the management of psychological health and safety in the workplace. It provides a framework for managing psychological risk within an occupational health and safety management system based on ISO 45001. Click here to learn more about ISO 45003.

Need Support?

QSM Group is experienced in designing, implementing, and maintaining safety management systems for organisations across all sectors. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you optimise your mentally healthy workplace.

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