Psychological hazards can be just as dangerous as physical hazards in the workplace, and should be mitigated with proper safety protocol and procedures. It is an employer’s responsibility to reasonably ensure the health and safety of all workers at their worksite.
“Psychological hazards are elements of the job or organizational practices that could pose a risk to one’s health and well-being. In addition to psychological effects, exposure to these hazards may produce physical symptoms.
Common psychological hazards include acute exposure to, harassment, violence or traumatic events. However, long term exposure to less severe hazards can also cause serious harm to health.
To cope with chronic exposure to these hazards, some workers may develop different coping behaviours or habits. Some negative behaviours such as drug or alcohol abuse can, in turn, be a source of additional stress and further erode psychological health.”
Source: Assessment and control of psychological hazards in the workplace : OHS information for employers and workers [February 2017]
Whether you are an employer or employee, it is crucial that you become familiar with these hazards, and implement or follow practices and procedures that can help you to avoid them.