Professor Maureen Dollard talks about the Psycho-social Safety climate's predictive value linking workplace conditions and psychological health.

Professor Dollard

Professor Maureen Dollard from Univeristy of South Australia reported on the project that she has lead for over a decade into psychological health in Australian workplaces. The Australian Workplace Barometer has been adopted by Safe Work Australia and a number of Australian Safety regulators. The Psychological Safety Climate is an indicator that comes out of this work that has a predictive value linking a number of workplace conditions to the incidence of psychological health outcomes. Professor Dollard's presentation to the Unions NSW 2015 Safety and Injured Workers Conference described the differing outcomes for psychological health in different jurisdictions based on the work her research team has done over time. The presentation was welcomed by delegates and Health and Safety Representatives as an evidence based tested mechanism to start to combat the burgeoning increase in negative workplace psychological health outcomes as work changes in a modern economy.

Mark Morey, Unions NSW Assistant Secretary said, "The unions look forward to supporting workplace reps to start to use the psycho-social safety climate at work to manage the risks from unsafe working conditions." 

Shay Deguara, Unions NSW Safety Officer said, "This peer reviewed evidence based work clearly has a beneficial aspect if used in industry to reduce the harm caused by work. Psychological Injuries due to work are grossly under reported, but for those that we know about, on average workers and their families are suffering far deeper and longer than workers afflicted with physical injuries."

"For too long psychological hazards have been ignored as a priority in our workplaces, with this form of injury remaining steady when there have been dramatic declines in physical workplace injuries. SafeWork Australia in their annual report into psychological safety and injury clearly indicates the high cost to workers and their workplace from these injuries and the benefits of prevention."

"Unions NSW is calling on the NSW Government to develop Health and Safety Representative Training that adopts the Psycho-social Safety Climate work so that we can have an army of Health and Safety Reps assessing and helping prevent psychological risk at work."

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