A psychologically safe workplace is one where all forms of discrimination, intimidation and harassment are not tolerated, where psychosocial hazards are systematically identified and minimised and a positive and inclusive organisational culture is maintained. Psychosocial hazards are aspects of work which have the potential to cause psychological or physical harm. These include, but are not limited to, bullying, fatigue, job demands, isolation, workplace violence or aggression and poorly managed organisational change.
Psychological safety enables individuals to suggest new and creative ideas and to report issues or concerns promptly, without fear of losing their reputation or position or the respect of colleagues. Creating a psychologically safe and healthy workplace reduces staff turnover, increases staff productivity and, by ensuring that staff are comfortable speaking up about initiatives that aren’t working, the organisation is equipped to prevent failure.
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 also defines clear duties for different workplace roles (e.g. managers) which includes duty towards reducing risk from psychosocial hazards.
Responsibility, Accountability and Actions
Chapter 3.15 Psychosocial Risk Management
Guidance and support material
Guidance from Regulatory bodies
Safe Work Australia
International Organisation for Standardisation
Safe Work Australia: