In Australia, one part of our Workplace Health & Safety laws discusses psychosocial hazards. But what are they and how can employers adequately address them?
Common psychosocial hazards at work include:
- Job demands
- Low job control
- Poor support
- Lack of role clarity
- Remote or isolated work
- Poor physical environment
- Bullying and harassment
Here at Jnine, we’ve been exploring the impact a poor physical environment can have on workplace health and safety, and subsequent impact on performance. A poor physical environment means workers are exposed to unpleasant, poor quality or hazardous working environments or conditions. An example identified by Safe Work Australia is unpleasant conditions such as poorly maintained amenities and unpleasant smells.
Picture this.One of your employees suddenly gets her period whilst at work. On rushing to the bathroom they discover the amenities aren’t clean and there is a lack of basic hygiene products such as soap, paper and sanitary disposal. There is nothing else for your employee to do but leave work to pick up supplies. The stress and anxiety caused by this situation may also mean she chooses to take personal leave to deal with her period. In essence, her basic needs are not being met and you’ve lost an employee for at least a day.
While poorly maintained amenities may not be traditionally considered as a psychosocial hazard, they can contribute to an unpleasant work environment and potentially affect employees' mental state and job satisfaction. Long-term employees may perceive poorly maintained amenities as a lack of concern from their employer towards their well-being. This perception can erode trust and confidence, leading to decreased engagement, motivation, and loyalty among employees.
Now imagine this.Your employee suddenly gets her period at work. She rushes to the bathroom to find it clean and well equipped with all the supplies she needs to manage her situation. Not only is the bathroom equipped with standard products ensuring hygiene and cleanliness, but she is also provided with a selection of pads and tampons – and even a pain relief patch. Everything she needs to continue with her day and perform well at work. She has experienced a pleasant and supportive work environment and is more likely to remain engaged at work as a result.
Providing sanitary supplies and ensuring clean and hygienic facilities is an inexpensive way for you to show your employees you care about their physical and mental well-being and improve engagement at the same time. Talk to us about implementing a Menstrual Wellness policy in your organisation and providing period products for your team. After all, you provide tea, coffee…and sometimes even beer for your employees. Isn’t it time you took care of your people who period?