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Managing psychosocial hazards: Poor environmental conditions

Poor environmental conditions are those where workers are exposed to unpleasant, poor quality, or hazardous physical environments or conditions that create a stress response. Poor environmental conditions can cause a stress response which when frequent, prolonged, or severe, may cause physical or psychological injury.

Typical situations that may lead to workers experiencing stress due to poor environmental conditions include work environments where there is poor air quality, high or nuisance noise levels, extreme temperatures, or uncontrolled biological hazards (e.g., blood or bodily fluids or infectious pathogens).

Like all work health and safety risks, the risks associated with exposure to poor environmental conditions must be managed.

Eliminating exposure to poor environmental conditions for workers where there is no operational need for them to be in the environment is the most effective way to control the risk. If unable to eliminate the hazard, you must identify ways to ensure you are managing it in a way that minimises risks.

PCBU’s must follow a risk management process to ensure the health and safety of workers. The process is the same for psychological and physical hazards.

More information

To learn more about the processes of management, visit: