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Workers from diverse backgrounds may be exposed to different psychosocial hazards. You must consult with all workers, in particular workers with vulnerabilities, who are likely to be directly affected by particular psychosocial hazards.

For example, women, young workers, those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, LGBTIQA+ workers and workers with disability are more likely to experience workplace sexual harassment and should be provided with the opportunity to participate in these consultations (which may take different forms), along with all workers who are likely to be directly affected.

All consultation must include any Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) representing your workers. References to consultation with workers in this Code includes consultation with any HSRs.

You must provide workers with a reasonable opportunity to raise psychosocial health and safety issues, express their views and contribute to decision-making. You must consider whether existing consultation arrangements are appropriate for psychosocial risks. You must consult with workers and their representatives on implementing new consultation arrangements if required.

When consulting with your workers you must:

  • share relevant information
  • give workers a reasonable opportunity to express their views, raise health and safety issues and contribute to the decision-making process
  • take those views into account before making decisions on health and safety matters, and
  • advise workers of the outcome of consultations in a timely manner.

Management commitment and open communication between managers and workers is important in achieving effective consultation. Your workers are more likely to engage in consultation when their knowledge and ideas are actively sought and concerns about psychosocial health and safety are taken seriously. You should encourage workers to:

  • share their knowledge and experience, and
  • report psychosocial hazards so risks can be managed before an injury occurs.

Effective methods of consultation can vary according to the needs of your workers, workplace size, worker distribution across sites and shifts, the nature of the work and the type of hazards in a workplace. You and your workers should agree the form consultation will take.

Our Approach

To meet your duties to ensure health and safety, you must eliminate or minimise psychosocial risks so far as is reasonably practicable. To achieve this, just as for any other hazard, you can apply the risk management process described in the Code of Practice: How to manage work health and safety risks.   Risk management requires planning and is an ongoing process. However, considering risks early prevents costly changes later and allows for more effective control measures to be used, resulting in less harm to workers. For example, you should consider psychosocial hazards at the design phase when planning an organisational restructure.
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