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Unfair workplaces create psychosocial risk

Poor organisational justice is a common workplace psychosocial hazard. Steps to tackle it are outlined in Queensland’s new Managing the risks of psychosocial hazards at work code of practice which commences 1 April 2023.

Poor organisational justice can create a risk when exposure is prolonged, frequent or severe. It can include a lack of procedural fairness (fair processes to reach decisions), informational fairness (keeping relevant people informed) or interpersonal fairness (treating others with respect and dignity).

Poor organisational justice often exists in workplaces where there are unfair, inequitable or discriminatory work practices or inconsistent application of policies and procedures at work. Failing to identify and manage this hazard can increase the risk of potential harm to workers and others impacted by your work.

Everyone at work has a responsibility for health and safety - both physical and psychological.

Workers should take reasonable care for their health and safety, and that of others impacted by their actions. They must also follow reasonable instructions at work.

Businesses should take steps to ensure the health and safety of workers and others by maintaining a safe and healthy working environment.

  • Identify the hazard by:
    • talking with health and safety representatives, health and safety committees and workers
    • walking through and inspecting your place of work, looking at the way people interact
    • reviewing workers’ compensation claims
    • reviewing hazard and incident reports, exit reports and complaints.
  • Assess the risk using tools such as:
  • Control the risk by:
    • designing unbiased and transparent workplace processes, policies and procedures in consultation with workers - and implementing them consistently
    • providing managers and supervisors with appropriate training to ensure processes and procedures are implemented in a consistent and transparent manner
    • fostering a culture of transparency, openness, respect, fairness and equity.
  • Review controls to ensure they remain effective:
    • when the control is not effectively controlling the risk
    • after an incident or change in the workplace that may give rise to a new risk
    • when a new hazard or risk is identified
    • if a WHS representative requests a review.

Consultation is key to ensuring effective risk management processes and activities.

More information

Refer to the Managing the risks of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice 2022 and available resources to support you to manage the risks of poor organisational justice at work.