OH&S Psychological Health Regulations Proposal

Psychological Health Regulations Open for Comment

Overview

Last year the Victorian Government made a commitment to introduce regulations to address Psychological Health. As a result, WorkSafe Victoria has prepared OH&S Amendment Regulations to help provide clearer guidance to employers on how to further protect their workers.

In short, these proposed regulations aim to strengthen OH&S framework and formally recognise that hazards that pose a risk to psychological health can be just as harmful to workers as physical hazards.

So if you’d like to get a better idea of how the proposed regulations were compiled, we recommend taking a look at the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) which contains:

  • Identification of psychological hazards
  • The current legal and regulatory framework in place
  • The recent enquiries into mental health and workplace health & safety
  • Evidence of the problem
  • Causes of the problem
  • Options and their impact

Background

According to the RIS, some of the most common reasons for mental injury are:

  • Workplace bullying
  • High job demands
  • Exposure to traumatic events
  • Harassment (incl. sexual harassment)

Consequently, compensation claims for injuries like these have risen by an average of 22% year on year since 2017.

Meanwhile, the RIS also states that mental injuries are caused in the workplace for the following reasons:

  • Lack of understanding about employer obligations
  • Lack of knowledge of how to control the risk
  • Failure to prioritise mental health
  • A perception that the costs of mental health policy compliance outweigh the benefits
 

Members of the public now have an opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations and RIS until the 31st March 2022. All submissions made by the public will be reviewed, and amendments to the regulations will be made as required.

What Next?

Have your say and contribute to workplace mental health regulations in Victoria! You can view the Proposed OHS Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations and make your comment here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression, stress and/or anxiety in or out of the workplace, there are support services that can help –