A psychosocial hazard is anything in the design or management of work that causes stress. Stress is the physical, mental and emotional reaction a person has when we perceive the demands of their work exceed their ability or resources to cope. Work-related stress if prolonged or severe can cause both psychological and physical injury. 


For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced and increased a range of psychosocial hazards in the workplace, at a time when a range of other non-work related psychosocial risks are also occurring (uncertainty about future employment, social isolation etc.).

Workplaces must take a PROACTIVE approach to mental health in the workplace rather than a REACTIVE approach.

You should manage psychosocial risks in the same way as physical risks. 

  • Focus on contributing factors

Do not solely focus on treating symptoms - look at the contributing factors to poor mental health in the workplace.

  • Address different risk levels

Different approaches to care (types of support and assistance) are required for different groups of people - we all vary in mental health vulnerability.

  • Engage the population

Actively engage everyone in the workplace with psychological wellbeing.