Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 410. Updated Tuesday, 20 May 2014

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New tool to assess staff facing change

The national workers compensation insurance body , Comcare has issued a new self-assessment tool to assist organisations facing change to limit the psychosocial impact on staff.

The effectiveness of any action taken can be reviewed with a "worker pulse check" survey, which provides a series of statements where workers can rate their level of agreement.

Comcare said high-performing Agencies and organisations need to be flexible, adaptable and able to respond quickly to changes in Government direction or in their operating environment, and support workers in times of change.

"During times of organisational change it is important to take a preventative approach to managing the risks of change and monitor the impact on workers," Comcare said.

Stress test to identify psychosocial risk

"The tool is a guided self-assessment, monitoring and review process for workplaces to identify key risks and corrective actions," it said.

"This will assist in minimising psychosocial risk factors during workplace change."

The tool, Putting You First, is intended to be used by anyone with responsibility as part of a change program.

"This includes change managers, WHS managers, HR Managers, project managers or people with leadership responsibilities," Comcare said.

During change, organisations should focus on consultation, prevention, early intervention, leadership and recovery and return to work, Comcare said.

The self-assessment could be achieved through consulting with workers and systematically addressing the risks - physical and psychosocial - associated with change that may lead to injury prior to, and after, workers commenced work in the changed circumstances or environment, the insurance body said.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to ensure the health and safety of their workers.

More information about Putting You First is available at this PS News link.

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