Prioritising worker wellbeing to prevent illness and injury
The recently launched 10-year Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy highlights the psychosocial hazards that are associated with bullying, harassment or stress. Marie Kinsella, CEO of IEC Group (organisers of the Workplace Health and Safety Show), said many of the symptoms of mental health conditions are invisible, making them difficult to detect. “If your organisation has adopted remote or hybrid work, the challenges around managing psychosocial hazards and risks are especially complex,” Kinsella said.
A TNS Social Research report on the State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia found that 6% of all workers’ compensation claims may be directly linked to psychological injuries. Additionally, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety reportedly cost Australian businesses $10 billion a year.
A new AON survey on Global Wellbeing also found that organisations that prioritise the implementation of integrated wellness programs saw an 11–55% improvement in performance. “A new Bill which relates to the treatment of employees in a domestic abuse situation has also recently been introduced, requiring businesses to support these employees and provide them with information about mental health and wellbeing. All the new legislation, including the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy, is a very positive first step towards ensuring not only the wellbeing and support of Australian workers, but also helping to prevent the negative impact of psychosocial hazards on our economy,” Kinsella said.
To support workplace health and safety professionals and employers, the Workplace Health & Safety Show offers presentations about new legislation and the development of sustainable workplace wellbeing programs. The seminars are free, with the first one to commence in Brisbane from 31 May to 1 June, with a second opportunity available in Sydney on 21 and 22 September.
The WHSS features a trade show where over 100 exhibitors will showcase new products, technologies and resources, with free seminars including presentations from a range of industry experts, interactive forums, live demonstrations and networking opportunities.
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