Psychosocial hazards are commonly found in all industries and occupations. Whether it’s the design of work, the layout of the workplace, the systems used, or the way work is communicated – all of these can pose risks to workers. We all recognise the outcomes of poorly managed psychosocial hazards, stress, burnout, harassment and bullying and even, horrifyingly, sexual harassment. But few of us truly understand that they are preventable. 

As the Commissioner for the ACT Work Health and Safety & Labour Hire Licensing scheme, Jacqueline Agius plays a key role in ensuring duty holders comply with the Work Health and Safety laws. 

"As a WHS regulator, I play a key role in ensuring duty holders comply with the WHS laws. Duty holders must understand their obligations. They must protect workers from the risks of psychosocial hazards. I make sure they identify, assess and eliminate or mitigate psychosocial hazards and risks. I require them to provide training, supervision and supports to their workers and I hold them accountable should preventable incidents occur. 

But I don’t work in isolation. 

Non-government organisations, businesses, industry associations, unions, the government, and the community all play a role in preventing psychological harm. Co-designing a regulatory response to deliver practical tools and guidance is critical to preventing harm."

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