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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 “traumatic events or material”.

Why is traumatic events or material a psychosocial hazard?

This hazard is about workers who witness, investigate or are exposed to traumatic events or material. A person is more likely to experience an event as traumatic when it is unexpected, is perceived as uncontrollable or is the result of intentional cruelty. This includes vicarious exposure and cumulative trauma.

Some questions that you might ask to assess whether there are any low job control related psychosocial hazards in your workplace include:

  • Do workers witness or have to investigate a fatality, a serious injury, abuse, neglect or serious incident?
  • Are workers exposed to seriously injured or deceased persons?
  • Are there situations where workers experience fear or extreme risks due to a motor vehicle or workplace accident or a crime like an armed robbery or assault or murder?
  • Do people’s jobs require them to deal with natural disasters, terrorism or war and be exposed to their effects in the course of their work?
  • Do workers support people who are victims of painful or traumatic events?
  • Does a worker’s job involve viewing, listening to or reading descriptions of painful or traumatic events experienced by others?
  • Are there any exposures to events which bring up traumatic memories?

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.

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