News Article



Psychosocial Hazards Event - 25 October 2022

The ASIS Victoria Chapter is providing a rare opportunity to hear from leaders in the emerging field of psychosocial hazards.

The Event builds from a recent High Court of Aust decision in Kozarov v State of Victoria [2022] HCA 12 - The HCA held where an employee is engaged to perform an occupation that presents an obvious and inherent risk of psychiatric injury, and the employer has knowledge that employees face this obvious and inherent risk in the performance of their regular duties, a duty of care arises on the part of an employer to take proactive steps in respect of all employees performing that role to reduce their risk of psychiatric injury. 

Persons responsible for workplace safety including managers & supervisors and those who provide advice on safety/security such as risk assessors need to consider advice provided that takes into account employee exposures in the context of high risk duties such as frontline workers. This can include Code Grey teams in healthcare, police officers, security workers and others who may witness or become aware of critical incidents in or around their workplace (often classed as vicarious trauma). Thjs may involve child protection and family/DV workers, etc. 

In general terms, an employee must establish that their employer knew they, as an individual, were at risk of sustaining psychiatric injury due to the ordinary performance of their work by way of evident signs to that effect.

It should also be noted this judicial guidance from the HCA is timely, considering the Victorian Government’s agreement with other domestic jurisdictions about regulatory controls for worker psychological health.

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