How to Get Your Business Ready for Victoria's Proposed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations in Australia

How to Get Your Business Ready for Victoria’s Proposed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations in Australia

Keeping employees safe is a top priority for every employer. That’s why the proposed amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in Victoria is an important news piece to everyone in human resources, executives, and people and culture leads. The new regulation, which addresses psychological health and safety in the workplace, will be put in place by the end of the year.

As the employer, you have a responsibility to ensure the proposed OHSA regulation is well understood and implemented in your workplace in Australia. In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know and what you can do to get your business ready.

1. Understand What the Regulations Cover

The regulations cover mental health hazards in the workplace, including stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Setting up programs to identify, prevent, and manage these hazards is the key to compliance.

2. Assess Your Current Situation

Conduct a workplace mental health risk assessment to identify potential hazards. The assessment should cover the entire organization, including the physical and social environment, work-related hazards, and individual factors affecting employee well-being. Once completed, prepare an action plan to address identified mental stressors building on opportunities your employee engagement and satisfaction programs provide.

3. Implement Robust Policies and Procedures

It’s essential to develop and implement well-structured policies and procedures that align with the new regulations. Such policies must be clear and comprehensive and compliant with the current guidelines. Employees must be made aware of their obligations and rights in relation to mental health, and additional training for mental health may need to be given to managers and supervisors to ensure better support and management of their teams.

4. Change Your Workplace Culture

If your current culture prioritises productivity at the expense of employee wellbeing, it’s time to change. Visible management leadership, teamwork empowerment initiatives, and development of programs that provide employees a way to connect better with the organisation such as employee resource groups (ERGs) are examples of ways to make a difference in your company’s culture. Effective communication and support are essential to an organisation where employees feel valued and cared for.

5. Review and Monitor Regularly

It’s vital to review and monitor your mental health programs regularly to ensure they remain effective. Regular audits, surveys, and assessments will help identify any potential risks that may require modification and ensure compliance with the new regulations.

The proposed occupational health and safety amendment (psychological health) regulations in Victoria are an important milestone towards building a safer, healthy workplace culture. Prioritising employee safety and wellbeing should be your top priority as an employer. Assess your current workplace culture today and embrace these proposed regulations to create a healthy, safe, and positive workplace environment. Your employees deserve it, and your company will benefit in ways exceeding individual’s views for a long-term, thriving organisational culture.