Safety is Everything: Mental Health Awareness Campaign

The Safety is Everything Campaign is an initiative of the WorkCover Tasmania Board and WorkSafe Tasmania. The campaign helps promote the Government’s Healthy Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan and adds to the delivery of WorkSafe Tasmania’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023 promise to the Tasmanian community of being Safe and Well, Every Day.

The Safety is Everything Campaign will contribute to:

  • Promoting awareness of mental health hazards in the workplace
  • De-stigmatising mental health conditions in the workplace
  • Improving mental health awareness within the Tasmanian community.

Campaign objectives

  • Increase awareness that mental health is a workplace hazard.
  • Encourage workers to talk to a colleague they trust when they are not going so well.
  • Increase understanding that mental health issues can affect anyone in the workplace.
  • Increase awareness that mental health, just like physical health, is an important part of work health and safety.

Campaign key messages

  • Mental health is a workplace hazard.
  • Mental health and wellbeing is an important aspect of work health and safety.
  • Mental health and physical health are closely connected, each contributes to overall wellbeing.
  • Talking about mental health should be as routine as seeking help for a physical condition.
  • Check in on your work colleagues, if they’re not going so well.
  • Talking with your work colleagues and listening is powerful.
  • If you see something, say something.
  • Providing a healthy, safe and well workplace benefits all workers. It also makes good business.

Target industries

The three television commercials focus on a mental health scenario in three workplaces: in financial and insurance services, in public administration and in health care and social assistance.

The chosen industries are where mental stress is a common cause of injury and where mental conditions are a priority condition and cause, as identified in WorkSafe Tasmania’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023.

The industries are:

Public Administration and Safety

This industry covers a wide range of activities, and is separated into specific high-risk sub-divisions:

  • State Government Administration
  • Local Government Administration
  • Central Government Administration
  • Public Order and Safety Services and Justice.

Mental stress is one of the most common causes of injury within this industry, resulting from work pressure, work related harassment and exposure to workplace violence and bullying.

Financial and Insurance Services

This industry covers a wide range of activities, and is separated into specific high-risk sub-divisions:

  • Central banking
  • Depository financial intermediation
  • Auxiliary finance and investment services
  • Health and general insurance
  • Auxiliary insurance services
  • Superannuation funds
  • Non-depository financing
  • Financial asset investing
  • Life insurance.

In 2018, 56% of all serious injuries were caused by mental stress. Mental health conditions is named as a key action area in the Strategic Plan relevant to this industry.

Health Care and Social Assistance

This industry covers a wide range of activities, and is separated into specific high-risk sub-divisions:

  • Hospitals
  • Medical services
  • Pathology and imaging
  • Allied health
  • Ambulance services
  • Social assistance services
  • Childcare services
  • Residential care services.

Mental stress is noted as a common cause of injury across this industry and mental health conditions is named as a key action area in the Strategic Plan relevant to this industry.

How can you help?

You can help us broaden the reach of the Safety is Everything campaign to raise awareness of mental health hazards in the workplace.

There are a range of materials available that you can share with your work colleagues, workplace, stakeholders or networks.

These include videos, material for your social media channels, posters and more.

If you would like to discuss further collaboration opportunities to help promote the campaign, please contact WorkSafe Tasmania.

Campaign materials

TV commercials

Poster (pdf, 244.7 KB)
To request printed A3 copies of this poster, email wstinfo@justice.tas.gov.au with your postal details or call our Helpline on 1300 366 322.

Support

Below are some of the providers available for mental health support and assistance. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of all available supports, nor does it prescribe to be the only supports.

Black Dog Institute

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Headspace Australia 1800 650 890

Lifeline 13 11 14

Mental Health Online

OzHelp Foundation Australia 1300 694 357

OzHelp Tasmania Foundation 1300 003 313

Relationships Australia 1300 364 277

R U OK?

SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY 1300 364 277

Statewide Mental Health Services 1800 332 388

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Mental health in the workplace

While statistics reveal the total number of workplace injuries has been steadily declining in Tasmania, the number of mental disease injuries has increased.

Between 2014 and 2018, there were 2,745 mental health claims out of a total of 37,313 claims (7.4%).

A snapshot of claims for mental health conditions in Tasmania, 2014–2018

Mechanism class

Number

Work related harassment and/or workplace bullying

858

Work pressure

759

Other mental stress factors

528

Exposure to a traumatic event

143

Being assaulted by a person or persons

134

Exposure to workplace or occupational violence

116

Unspecified mechanisms of injury

80

Other harassment

53

Other and multiple mechanisms of injury

26

Vehicle accident

22

Others

26

Total

2,745

Most at risk occupations, 2014–2018

  • The most at risk occupations are Clerical and Administrative Workers.
  • 22% of Claims for this occupation group were Mental Health related.
  • This was followed by Managers and then by Professionals where at least 14% of claims for these groups were mental health related.
  • At an occupational unit level, Registered Nurses recorded the highest number of mental health related injuries (133). 12% of their claims were Mental Health related.
  • Among the top 10 occupational units, other Miscellaneous Clerical and Administrative Workers followed by Other Clerical and Office Support Workers and Prison Officers had the highest proportion of mental health claims (24%, 23% and 23% respectively).

Hazards or factors

Mental health can be adversely affected by exposure to a range of hazards or factors in the workplace, including, for example:

  • high job demand
  • low job demand
  • poor support
  • poor workplace relationships
  • low role clarity
  • poor organisational change management
  • poor organisational justice
  • poor environmental conditions
  • remote or isolated work
  • violent or traumatic events.

Exposure to these hazards can lead to work-related stress. When stress is very high and/or prolonged it can in turn lead to work-related psychological or physical injury. For example, work-related stress may lead to depression and anxiety in the long term.

Work-related stress has been linked with high levels of:

  • unplanned absences including sick leave
  • staff turnover
  • withdrawal and presenteeism
  • poor work and poor product quality.

Manage hazards and risks

Employers and PCBUs have a legal responsibility to manage hazards and risks in the workplace.

The ‘How to manage work health and safety risks’ code of practice provides guidance on risk management for physical and psychological hazards as the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 defines health as both physical and psychological.

For specific guidance on risk management for psychological hazards refer to Safe Work Australia’s guidance on for managing work-related psychological health.

How to manage work health and safety risks code of practice

Work-related psychological health and safety: A systematic approach to meeting your duties (Safe Work Australia)

Relevant legislation and regulations

Work Health and Safety Act 2012

Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988

Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2011

Other resources

Health, Safety and Wellbeing Advisors

Our Work Health, Safety and Wellbeing Advisors can help you make your workplace safer by:

  • providing you with practical tools to help you identify hazards in your workplace
  • helping you implement solutions that are relevant, practical and affordable
  • checking that the safety plans and policies you have in place are on track
  • providing you with ongoing support.

Publications/online resources

Awareness into action: A holistic approach to cultivating mentally healthy workplaces in Australia (Allianz Australia)

Mentally healthy workplaces toolkit (WorkCover Queensland)

Simple guide to workplace health and wellbeing (WorkSafe Tasmania)

Mental health at work (SafeWork NSW)

How to prevent and respond to workplace bullying (Worksafe Tasmania)

Safe and well every day

Safe and well every day is the promise WorkSafe Tasmania makes to the Tasmanian community.

WorkSafe Tasmania’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023 outlines our priorities and strategic focus in driving continuous improvement in work health, safety, rehabilitation and compensation.

The strategic priorities include a focus on reducing harm in Tasmanian workplaces and responding to current and emerging work health and safety issues.

High priority industries and activities will be targeted based on in-depth analysis of workers compensation claims and other data, recognising that the biggest gains can be made in these areas. Improvements in these and other industries will benefit all, with reduced deaths, injuries, costs and premiums.

Priority conditions are identified based on the severity of consequences of harm(s), the number of people estimated to be affected and the existence of known prevention options. Mental Health is one of our priority conditions.

Tasmanian Government Healthy Tasmania Goal

The Tasmanian Government has set itself the goal of making Tasmania the healthiest population in Australia by 2025.

The Healthy Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan aims to give Tasmanians and their communities the information and tools they need to make positive and healthy changes to their lives.

Re-think Mental Health – A Long-Term Plan for Mental Health in Tasmania 2015-25 sets a vision for Tasmania to be a community where all people have the best possible mental health and wellbeing.