Psychosocial Risks & Hazards in the Workplace

The health and well-being of employees can be significantly impacted by several potential psychosocial risks and hazards that abound in the modern workplace. Their causes are varied but the effects are always profound and long-lasting.

As such, the team at Advanced CT would like you to know about these risks and hazards and their effects on the workplace.


What are Psychosocial Risks and Hazards?

Psychosocial Risks explained

The elements of a job that have the potential to affect a worker’s psychological or social well-being are known as psychosocial risks and hazards. Several things, including the workplace, how work is organized and designed, how people interact with one another, and management procedures, might contribute to them.

Examples of these include:

High Job Demands

One of the most prevalent psychological dangers at work is having a job with high demands. It happens when workers are expected to finish a significant quantity of work in a short amount of time or when the work is emotionally or mentally taxing.

When workers must put in long hours, handle a lot of work, or meet tight deadlines, it can result in stress, exhaustion, and other mental health problems. These demands, which might be physical, mental, or emotional, can make workers feel overburdened or exhausted.


Low Job Control

Another psychosocial risk that might hurt employees is low job control. Employees that have limited control over their work or decision-making experience this. Workers who have little control over how tasks are accomplished or who are not included in decision-making processes may feel anxious and helpless at work.

Feelings of helplessness, annoyance, and dissatisfaction may result from it. Stress can result from these sentiments of anger and discontent that are brought on by this lack of control.


Lack of Social Support

Another that could harm employees is a lack of social support. Lack of access to sympathetic coworkers or managers might exacerbate employees’ feelings of loneliness and anxiety. This may be particularly true in workplaces with intense competitiveness or considerable separation between coworkers.

The consequences of stress can be mitigated by social support at work, such as a sympathetic boss or coworkers. On the other hand, a lack of social support might increase stress. Workers who don’t feel connected to their coworkers may experience stress and a lack of support.


Violence and Harassment in the Workplace

Violence and harassment at work are severe psychosocial risks as well. When workers are subjected to physical or psychological abuse at work, it can be traumatizing and psychologically damaging in the long run. The same is true for harassment and discrimination based on colour, gender, or other aspects of an individual’s character that might result in a hostile work environment and emotional distress.

These events can be distressing and may cause PTSD symptoms or feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, particularly if workers believe their company is not supporting them.


Other Effects of Psychosocial Risks and Hazards

Psychosocial risks and hazards at work can have short-term as well as long-term repercussions on both the person and the company. The following are a few possible outcomes:


Mental Health Issues

Mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, and PTSD can be caused by psychosocial risks and hazards. These problems may have an impact on employees’ health, productivity, and personal lives.


Physical Health Issues

Stress brought on by psychosocial hazards and risks can also result in physical health issues like headaches, tense muscles, high blood pressure, fatigue, and heart disease. Additionally, workers’ immune systems may be impacted, resulting in increased susceptibility to colds, cases of flu, and other illnesses.


Absenteeism and Employee Turnover

When faced with psychosocial risks and hazards, workers may need to take time off or even quit their jobs. This may result in lower productivity and more expenses for the company.


Decreased Performance

Employee performance can be affected by psychosocial risks and hazards. Employees that are stressed or overworked may find it difficult to concentrate, make errors, or miss deadlines. This could result in a decline in output and quality, which would affect the business’s bottom line.


Increased Workplace Conflict

Increased conflict at work might also result from psychosocial risks and hazards. Poor social support can cause employees to feel alone and disconnected from their coworkers, which can result in miscommunications and conflicts. Conflict and tension among employees can also result from workplace violence, harassment, and discrimination.


Damage to the Organization’s Reputation

The social standing and brand of an organization can be harmed by workplace violence, harassment, and discrimination. These problems may result in bad press, which can cause clients, investors, and other stakeholders to lose faith in the company. This may have long-term effects on the effectiveness and viability of the organization.


How Safety Training and Professionals Can Mitigate Psychosocial Risks and Hazards

Psychosocial Risks mitigated

There are various ways that safety training and cooperating with safety professionals can aid in reducing or eliminating psychosocial risks and hazards at work: 

  1. Employees can learn to identify potential psychosocial risks and hazards at work with the aid of safety training. They can use this to recognize prospective stressors and take action to reduce or eliminate them.
  2. Employees might benefit from safety training by learning skills that will enable them to manage psychological risks and hazards. Training in conflict resolution, communication, and stress management, for instance, can assist staff members in managing stress and conflict at work. 
  3. Organizations can find areas where policies and procedures can be strengthened to effectively manage psychological risks and hazards by collaborating with safety specialists. For instance, safety experts can assist businesses in creating rules that deal with harassment, violence, and discrimination in the workplace.
  4. Moreover, safety experts can offer assistance to staff members who have encountered psychosocial risks and hazards. This can include access to mental health resources, counselling services, and other forms of assistance that can help workers manage the impacts of work-related stress. 
  5. The management of psychological risks and hazards can be monitored and evaluated by organizations with the aid of safety specialists. This can assist businesses in identifying areas that still require improvement and implementing the necessary changes.

Organizations can establish a safe and healthy work environment that supports employee well-being and productivity by increasing awareness, developing skills, enhancing policies and procedures, offering support, and monitoring and evaluating it.


Advanced CT – Leaders in Occupational Health and Safety

Psychosocial risks and hazards can significantly affect employee health and psyche. Thankfully, employers can minimize these risks and develop a safe and healthy work environment by investing in safety training and partnering with safety professionals. Organizations can establish a productive work environment that supports employee well-being and productivity by increasing awareness, developing skills, enhancing policies and procedures, offering support, and monitoring and evaluating it.

Please contact us if you need assistance in managing the psychosocial risks and hazards at work. Advanced CT has the necessary expertise and programs to help establish a secure and healthy workplace for your employees. Our qualified safety professionals offer specialized safety consultation and training services. Let’s collaborate to make your employees’ workplaces safer, healthier, and more effective.

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