What does SafeWork NSW do?
We are New South Wales’ workplace health and safety regulator. We offer:
- advice on improving work health and safety
- provide licences and registration for potentially dangerous work
- investigate workplace incidents and enforce work health and safety laws in NSW
What is the relationship between physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace?
We are all more or less physically healthy on any one day, month or year and mental wellbeing is no different. There are factors that can contribute to our mental or physical wellbeing or that can contribute to injury or illness at work.
There is also a relationship between our physical and mental wellbeing where if we are unwell or injured physically this can lead to mental ill-health and vice versa. For example if you injure your back you may be in pain, have trouble sleeping and may not be able to exercise – which may contribute to you feeling down or depressed. Similarly, when you are experiencing mental health issues you may not be able to concentrate or you may be more sedentary than usual and therefore more prone to accidents or injury.
To stay healthy and safe at work it’s important everyone understands how this relationship works so they can take steps to prevent physical and mental injury or illness and promote recovery.
What can employers do to manage risks around mental and psychological safety in the workplace?
We can manage psychosocial risks (factors) using the same process as for managing physical health and safety:
Step 1 Identify factors – consult your workforce to find out what factors are impacting their mental health at work. Click on the ‘Know the factors’ button at www.mentalhealthatwork.nsw.gov.au to find out what kinds of factors can impact mental health and simple steps you can take to prevent or reduce their impact.
Step 2 Take action – use evidence and feedback to inform what actions you take to prevent or reduce the impact of these factors.
Step 3 Review and improve – check the steps you have taken work in your workplace. Ask your team for feedback and check your data for signs of improvement e.g. increased participation in mental wellbeing programs, more people accessing available support services or resources, reduced injury rates or reduced absenteeism.
What are the ways in which SafeWork NSW works with employers to better their employees’ wellbeing?
We provide advice, programs, tools and resources to help NSW businesses create mentally and physically healthy and safe workplaces. We currently are also offering FREE advice and training for workplaces, managers and workers including WHS Advice, mental health training for managers and mental health skills training to workplaces to help them get started on the journey to being mentally healthy.
What are some of the benefits for SafeWork NSW in being part of the WayAhead Workplaces network?
WayAhead Workplaces is a valued partner of the NSW Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy 2018-2022.
SafeWork NSW benefits from being a WayAhead Workplaces member by:
- keeping up to date with workplace health and wellbeing research, initiatives and events
- finding new collaboration opportunities – we’ve identified a number of individuals and organisations to collaborate with on initiatives and resources to support mental and physical health and safety at work
- learning from others – presentations, programs and resources from WayAhead Workplaces members and the network itself help us plan and deliver more valuable programs and resources to support NSW employers to create mentally healthy workplaces and to lead healthy and productive working lives.
What made SafeWork NSW decide to support the WayAhead Workplaces Annual Members' Forum this year?
WayAhead Workplaces has generously shared insights, learnings, resources and contacts to support Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy initiatives for some time.
This forum is an opportunity for us to support WayAhead Workplaces and the great work that they do. We also hope through this event to raise awareness and increase participation in our NSW Government initiatives by working with members of the WayAhead Workplaces network so together we can create more mentally healthy workplaces in NSW.
You can hear more from SafeWork NSW at the WayAhead Workplaces Annual Members' Forum on Tuesday 18th of June.