Now more than ever, workers in the broader Public Service in Ontario are at risk for work-related mental injuries due to the frequency and severity of direct and indirect exposure to psychological hazards and psychosocial factors in the workplace.
Psychologically healthy and safe workplaces contribute significantly to worker well-being, engagement and performance as well as lower rates of absenteeism, conflict and disability claims. These resources are intended to help workplaces navigate through the development and implementation of a psychological health and safety program regardless of size, complexity or need.
Workplace Psychological Health and Safety Guide
A psychological health and safety program supports worker well-being and mitigates risk of work-related psychological injury and illness.
This guide is designed to provide information, guidance, tools, and resources for Psychologically Healthy and Safe Workplaces in the broader public sectors to employers, JHSC/HSR and other interested parties. The guide can be used to build a new psychological health and safety program, and/or to identify program gaps in an existing one. It offers new innovative tools and solutions to enhance and/or augment the program development and implementation journey.
This program guide provides:
- Awareness of supporting provincial legislation and national/international standards.
- A review of the traditional workplace psychological health and safety and psychosocial factors and the additional healthcare factors.
- Occupational health and safety hazard mitigation concepts at the organizational level and at the job-position levels.
- Information on psychological health and safety program development and implementation using systematic occupational health and safety and continuous improvement processes.
- Linkages to existing supporting resources and tools for successful implementation where appropriate.
- Additional tools and checklists to augment existing public resources.
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Psychological Health & Safety Program Components
An effective psychological health and safety program designed to mitigate risk of work-related psychological injury or illness requires an integrated approach to Prevention, Intervention and Recovery. Each component is equally important and encompasses corresponding elements to support the development and implementation of a comprehensive program.
Our program summary provides an overview of the main components and their respective elements that may be included in your psychological health and safety program.
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Develop the basic elements, such as understanding legal responsibilities, recognizing, assessing and controlling the hazard, developing policies and procedures, outlining roles and responsibilities and incident reporting procedures.
Decrease harm once an incident has occurred, including proper report and investigation and ensuring workers know how to respond to and manage psychological events when they occur and are supported in doing so.
Recovery/Return to Work
Reduce symptoms and impact of injury, using recovery strategies that involve post-incident response, and return to work/stay at work programs.
Where Are You on Your PHS Journey?
Building a psychological health and safety program may seem like a momentous task. However, in most cases, workplaces already have many program elements in place, perhaps linked to existing programs such as workplace violence prevention.
Recognizing that each workplace has unique needs, the resources and tools provided are identified and categorized to support workplaces who are Getting Started, Moving Forward, or implementing Promising Practices.
Moving Forward: This stage of the journey is about moving from a reactive state to a proactive state. The employer has the basics in place and is ready to develop a more comprehensive program.
Promising Practices: At this stage, the employer is ready to implement best practices into an already functioning program. There is an interest in evaluation and research. Psychological Health and Safety becomes integrated seamlessly into the work environment and organizational culture.