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Psychosocial hazard #10 – Poor physical environment

by | Oct 16, 2023 | C1: Commitment, C2: Capability, C3: Competency, C4: Culture, Employee Engagement, EVP, Psychosocial hazards

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The next psychosocial hazard that is listed in Safe Work Australia’s Model Code of Practice on Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work is “poor physical environment”.

Why is poor physical environment a psychosocial hazard?

This hazard involves workers who are exposed to unpleasant, poor quality or hazardous working environments or conditions. Some questions that you might ask to assess whether there are any psychosocial hazards arise from a poor physical environment in your workplace include:

  • Do people have to work on hazardous tasks or in hazardous conditions (eg in working with or near unsafe machinery or hazardous chemicals)?
  • Do people perform demanding work while wearing uncomfortable personal protective or other equipment (eg equipment that is poorly fitted, heavy or reduces visibility or mobility)?
  • Do workplace conditions such as poor lighting, high noice or uncomfortably high or low temperatures affect workers’ concentration or ability to complete tasks?
  • Are there any unpleasant work conditions such as poorly maintained or inadequate amenities, unpleasant smells or loud music?
  • Is any equipment poorly maintained so that it has become unsafe or noisy or it vibrates?
  • Do work-related accommodation, facilities and amenities contribute to worker fatigue because they are noisy, uncomfortable or prevent workers from getting enough sleep?

This list is not exhaustive and while we have based these posts on the model code produced by Safe Work Australia, there can be differences in the specific details for each State or Territory. So you need to check that in the jurisdiction in which your workplace lies.

Need help? Give us a call on 1300 108 488 to arrange your free first consultation to see how we can help with advice and support on this or any other HR matter. 


Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
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6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488