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How WHS Training Raises Employee's Psychological Wellbeing

Approximately 45% of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, of which anxiety, mood disorders (such as depression), and substance use disorders are the most common in Australian adults. No wonder workplace health and safety (WHS) training is now more essential than ever, extending far beyond meeting statutory requirements. WHS training is about creating an ecosystem that nurtures the psychological wellbeing of every employee.

Altius Group works very hard to have the health of your people and organisation covered by offering customised programs that are not merely a formality but a catalyst for cultivating a supportive and productive workplace culture. Our innovative approach is based on the belief that an employee’s mental health is as essential as their physical safety, and understanding this is crucial for any organisation to thrive.

The Link Between Workplace Safety and Psychological Wellbeing

The synergy between a safe work environment and the psychological wellbeing of employees is undeniable. An atmosphere where safety procedures are clear and practised instils confidence and eases the minds of the workforce. It acts as a foundation of security, allowing employees to operate without the constant fear of accidents or health risks, thereby reducing stress and anxiety. In such environments, there’s a culture of trust contributing to a more satisfied and productive workforce, which, in turn, can lead to lower turnover rates and a stronger organisational reputation.

Hidden Hazards: Can Psychological Risks Take a Toll on Workplace Wellbeing?

Understanding the less visible psychological risks in the workplace is critical in promoting a culture of safety. Some of these hidden hazards can include:
  1. Job Stress: High levels of stress from workload, time pressures, or job insecurity can lead to decreased productivity, burnout, and mental fatigue.
  2. Workplace Conflict: Interpersonal conflicts with colleagues or management can create a hostile work environment and emotional distress, impacting not only the individuals involved but the entire team.
  3. Workplace Harassment or Bullying: Experiencing or witnessing bullying can lead to anxiety, depression, and a sense of unsafety in the workplace.
  4. Inadequate Support: Insufficient support from supervisors or the organisation can leave employees feeling undervalued and overwhelmed.
  5. Unclear Job Expectations: Ambiguity about job roles or responsibilities can cause uncertainty and stress.
  6. Exposure to Trauma: Jobs that involve exposure to traumatic events can increase the risk of developing psychological conditions like PTSD.

Core Components of Effective Workplace Health and Safety Training

At Altius Group, we believe in holistic training modules to cover critical areas of WHS and address psychosocial hazards. But to know what to address, we must understand what psychosocial hazards can look like. View and refer back to our checklist, which recognises 8 potential hazards. 

Our core components of effective WHS training, include:

  1. Risk Assessment and Management: Recognising the psychosocial hazards that could lead to stress or psychological harm and managing them proactively.
  2. Emergency Procedures: Emotional support strategies for employees affected by a workplace crisis, which is vital for psychological recovery.
  3. Health and Safety Legislation: Understanding legal responsibilities regarding mental health helps organisations protect employees from psychological harm.
  4. Ergonomics: Proper ergonomic practices not only prevent physical strain but also reduce the mental fatigue associated with discomfort and injury.
  5. Equipment and Machinery Training: Ensuring competence in using equipment when applicable reduces anxiety and the mental strain associated with operating potentially dangerous machinery.
  6. Psychological Wellbeing: Directly addressing topics like stress management, workplace conflict resolution, and building resilience through webinars, team meetings, and one-on-one sessions helps create a psychologically safe environment.
  7. Reporting and Communication: Encouraging transparent reporting of mental health concerns is key to fostering a supportive workplace where employees’ psychological concerns are taken seriously.

Custom Fits: Tailoring Training Programs to Fit Workplace Demands

A one-size-fits-all approach to training is rarely effective because every organisation is different and has specific needs to address. Safety training programs should be customised to resonate with the unique operational goals and challenges and address the potential psychosocial hazards of the workplace. By tailoring training, one can ensure relevance and engagement and also maximise the program’s effectiveness in promoting psychological wellbeing.

Altius Group's Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Services for Psychological Wellbeing

The suite of WHS services offered by Altius Group tops traditional safety training by integrating essential psychological support elements. View the following:

Health and Safety Audits and Gap Analysis

A rigorous examination of the current health and safety management system of an organisation, considering the workforce, the work they perform, and the latest WHS legislation. Our experienced safety consultants tailor audits to fit your workplace's specific needs, whether it's an online session or an on-site review. 

Through the assessments, we identify compliance gaps and provide comprehensive reports with actionable feedback for continuous improvement, integration with other management systems, and informed decision-making. This process aims at strengthening your corporate culture and demonstrating due diligence but also ensures peace of mind that your workplace meets all WHS legislative requirements, protecting the wellbeing of your employees and the integrity of your business operations.

Health Checks

Projecting a holistic view of an individual's wellbeing, Altius Group's Health Checks identify personal and workplace-related health barriers to measure the effectiveness of existing wellbeing programs. Performed by qualified medical and allied health professionals, our customisable health checks can range from general health assessments to detailed evaluations of cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure, metabolic markers, vision screening, psychological evaluations for stress, anxiety, depression, and much more. Altius Group ensures that every aspect of health is considered, providing a full picture that facilitates early intervention and supports long-term health and productivity.

Psychosocial Risk Assessment

Altius Group's Psychosocial Risk Assessment manages the duty of businesses to protect employees from psychosocial risks that can lead to significant psychological or physical harm. By evaluating aspects such as role overload, management support, workplace isolation, exposure to traumatic events, and incidences of violence, bullying, or harassment, our assessments pinpoint stressors that can undermine employee wellbeing. 

Leveraging the expertise of WHS specialists, organisational psychologists, and allied health professionals, we go beyond identifying these risks to provide targeted strategies for continuous improvement. Managing psychosocial risks sends a message to employees that their wellbeing is a priority, promoting a trusting environment and potentially reducing claims related to mental health conditions in the workplace.

Measuring the Impact of WHS Training on Psychological Wellbeing

Evaluating the efficacy of health and safety training on psychological wellbeing can be overlooked but is a critical part of the commitment to continuous improvement. By looking at changes in workplace culture, shifts in health outcomes, and tangible improvements in daily operations through data-driven analytics and empathetic engagement, one can truly conclude if training has resonated with employees and aligned with the business's long-term objectives.

Re-evaluate your health and safety initiatives and contact Altius Group for a specialised consultation to elevate your training programs. Reach better mental health and wellbeing outcomes in your workplace starting today! Contact us online or call 1800 258 487.

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