A guide to mental health risks in the workplace

Every worksite has a wide range of risks, it can be hard to keep track of all the risks on a site. Without knowing that a risk exists it is impossible to control effectively. To ensure that your workers are as safe as possible the worksite must be assessed for risks. 

The aim of Risk Management is to prevent incidents from occurring, and as such is one of the most important aspects of an organisation’s WHS system. 

Before making a purchase there are a number of steps that need to be completed to ensure the system is fit for purpose.


All too often organisations focus on managing risks to employee’s physical health and safety and neglect their employee’s mental health.                            

Psychological injuries can be long lasting and costly, often requiring more time off work than physical injuries. Mental health can be affected by a range of factors, so it is important to adequately manage mental health risks in your workplace.                                                    

Every year 7,200 compensation claims are made for work-related psychological injuries, Resulting in payouts of over $500 million     

While work-related mental health injuries mare most common in occupations that are exposed to violent or traumatic situations, such as police, fire fighters or the defence force, over 90% of mental health claims were caused by work-related stress, which can occur in any occupation                             

The world health report showed: “more working days are lost as a result of mental disorders than physical conditions” – psychological injuries are often more expensive and require more time off work

in 2010-2015 typical mental health claims cost $15,000 more than the average for all injuries
Animation And required almost 10 weeks more time off

Additionally, a poor state of mental health can impact a person’s physical health, with depressed workers taking 20 times more time off work than average

Mental health can be adversely affected by a range of factors, including: ​

  • Job pressures 
  • Exposure to violent or traumatic events 
  • Workplace relationships, such as bullying or harassment 
  • Or even environmental factors, such as noise levels or lighting

To address the various factors influencing mental health, there are a few things that any organisation can do:

  • Establish mental health as a key consideration in the organisation’s risk management framework
  • Develop clear policies to encourage an inclusive workplace culture and eliminate workplace bullying and harassment
  • Provide training, counselling and other resources to ensure that small problems don’t develop into big problems 

Organisations need to look after the health of their workers inside and out.

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