Valuing the Human; Psychosocial Safety Climate as the ‘Cause of the Causes’ of Work Stress

Wellbeing Research Centre Seminar Series
Prof Maureen Dollard (University of South Australia)

From obscurity to mainstream, Psychosocial Safety Climate (PSC) has emerged as a prominent evidence based multilevel theory for explaining worker psychological health and wellbeing. PSC refers the organisation’s safety management system for psychosocial risk factors at work. PSC is a leading indicator of a wide range of future psychosocial risks and mental health outcomes. Despite progress in national policy approaches to require the assessment of psychosocial risk, there is a blind spot in recognising that the biggest risk of all is a poor organisational system (i.e., PSC), which can be assessed, benchmarked and regulated. Eyes wide open, work-related mental health problems are increasing so is makes sense to target root causes.  How PSC forms, is linked to socioeconomic political systems, national policy, and union density and is transmitted within organisations, relates to psychosocial risks, predicts workers compensation claims and costs, relates to depression and antidepressants, can be improved in interventions, and forms the foundation of human-centred future of work, are themes in the crosshairs for discussion in the presentation.