We’re tops in work health

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SOUTH Aus­tralia is one of the most psy­cho­log­i­cally healthy places to work in the world, a new study shows.

Re­search con­ducted at the Univer­sity of South Aus­tralia’s Cen­tre for Ap­plied Psy­cho­log­i­cal Re­search re­veals that SA ranks be­hind only Swe­den and Ire­land.

Psy­cho­log­i­cally healthy work­places pro­vide work­ers with pro­ce­dures to deal with work-re­lated stress, bul­ly­ing or harass­ment and also workre­lated vi­o­lence.

They also are places in which em­ploy­ees are con­sulted about mea­sures to deal with psy­cho-so­cial risks.

Re­sults show that staff in in­dus­tries such as trans­port and stor­age, min­ing and ed­u­ca­tion ap­pear par­tic­u­larly well pro­tected in SA from psy­cho­log­i­cal health haz­ards.

Pro­fes­sor Maureen Dol­lard, who is lead­ing the Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil-funded Aus­tralian Work­place Barom­e­ter project, says ef­forts by South Aus­tralian in­dus­tries to re­duce psy­cho­log­i­cal in­jury at work have put the state in its healthy po­si­tion.

How­ever, many in­dus­tries are per­form­ing be­low the state’s stan­dard, she says.

‘‘ In SA, em­ploy­ees in the ac­com­mo­da­tion, cafes and res- tau­rant in­dus­tries re­ported a lack of psy­cho-so­cial pro­tec­tions,’’ she says.

Dol­lard says or­gan­i­sa­tions need to be aware of in­dus­try trends as well as thor­oughly mon­i­tor psy­choso­cial risk.

‘‘ Work­ers value work en­vi­ron­ments where they are pro­tected from the im­pacts of psy­cho-so­cial risk and re­port higher lev­els of en­gage­ment,’’ she says.

‘‘ We should not un­der­es­ti­mate how im­por­tant fac­tors like these are to pro­duc­tiv­ity and to en­hanc­ing the at­trac­tive­ness of work­ing in South Aus­tralia.’’

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