NEW QLD Law: Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice

Do you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out at work?
Well, good news – from April 1 Queensland will have a new Code of Practice dedicated to Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work.

This comprehensive set of guidelines is designed to help employers create a safe, supportive and healthy work environment by identifying, assessing and managing potential psychological and social risks in the workplace. Psychosocial hazards can include things like stress, bullying, harassment, and exposure to violence or trauma, all of which can have a negative impact on employee mental health and well-being.

The Code of Practice provides employers with practical strategies for preventing psychosocial hazards and promoting a healthy and safe workplace. Employers are encouraged to create a supportive work environment that promotes respectful and inclusive communication and behaviour, encourages work-life balance, and provides support for employees experiencing mental health issues.

But it’s not just about creating a positive workplace culture – the Code of Practice also emphasizes the need for employers to involve employees in the risk management process.
By consulting with employees about their concerns and ideas for improving workplace culture, employers can create a workplace that truly meets the needs of its employees.

The Code of Practice also encourages employers to provide training and support for employees, educate them about psychosocial hazards and how to prevent them, and implement policies and procedures that address psychosocial hazards and provide clear guidelines for managing them.

How can we help?
Assist First Aid offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses.

MHFA courses are becoming increasingly popular as a way to provide people with the tools and confidence to support those experiencing mental health issues.

They help employers meet their obligations under Queensland’s new Code of Practice by providing their team the training and knowledge they need and by promoting a safe and healthy workplace culture that prioritises the mental health and wellbeing of employees.

So, what is a MHFA course, exactly? Just like physical first aid, MHFA courses equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to signs of distress in others. MHFA is an evidence based course designed to teach individuals how to recognize and respond to people who may be experiencing mental health problems or crises.

The course covers a range of topics including:

  • What mental health is
  • Common mental health disorders like anxiety and depression
  • Crisis situations such as suicidal thoughts or substance abuse

The MHFA course, taught by our experienced instructor uses a mix of lecture-style teaching, group discussions, and interactive activities to engage participants. It is not a therapy session. It is a structured, engaging, internationally respected course.

Mental health first aid training can help employers to fulfil their duty of care by:

  • Building awareness: MHFA training can help employers and employees to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in themselves and their colleagues.
  • Promoting early intervention: MHFA training can equip employers and employees with the skills to provide appropriate support to those who are experiencing mental health issues. This can include strategies for de-escalating a crisis, providing emotional support, and connecting individuals with appropriate resources.
  • Reducing stigma: Mental health first aid training helps reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues by promoting understanding and empathy. This can create a more supportive workplace culture where employees feel comfortable seeking help if they need it.
  • Demonstrates support: MHFA training demonstrates commitment to understanding, reducing and managing psychosocial risks and improving workplace mental health.

Feedback from MHFA course participants:

The up to date, evidence based information on mental illness and teaching appropriate tools and skills to appropriately assist when indicated were strengths of the course. It is an excellent course – wish I would have known about it and taken it many years ago.

I gained knowledge important and relevant to my role. Cortney did a great job at expanding on the areas relevant to our profession. Cortney provided us with lots of resources and opportunities to discuss our skills. I enjoyed the opportunity to talk about issues that people don’t usually talk about. I feel more confident now in aspects of my role as they relate to mental health. It’s a good, practical course, something that would be beneficial for a wide range of industries and careers.

Cortney was an engaging and had a structured and thoughtful approach to teaching. I enjoyed how interactive and engaging this course was and highly recommend the instructor she was absolutely amazing!

Figure 2 from the Code of Practice shows different psychosocial hazards in workplaces, how they impact each other and the repercussions. In green you can see where MHFA can help.

Diagram of different psychosocial hazards in workplaces, how they impact each other and the repercussions. Also shows where MHFA can help.

So, if you’re tired of feeling like your mental health is an afterthought at work, share the workplace psychosocial hazards code of practice with your employer and encourage them to take action. Together, we can create workplaces that prioritize employee well-being and promote a culture of respect, inclusivity and support.

Click here to see the Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice 2022

Click here to read more about our Mental Health First Aid course

Click here to book your place on a Mental Health First Aid course

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