Psychological Health & Safety Program Development: PREVENTION

Prevention focuses on outlining the basic elements of psychological health and safety management.

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Prevention focuses on outlining the basic elements of psychological health and safety management, such as understanding legal responsibilities, recognizing, assessing and controlling the hazard, developing policies and procedures, outlining roles and responsibilities and incident reporting procedures in an organization. The goal is to establish or integrate PHS Prevention practices for the promotion of a psychologically healthy and safe workplace that actively works to prevent harm to a worker’s mental health.  

Leadership Commitment & Participation


Safety management begins with senior leadership commitment to a healthy and safe workplace.  Psychological health and safety management is the commitment to a psychologically healthy and safe workplace – or, a workplace that promotes workers’ psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to worker psychological health including in negligent, reckless or intentional ways.  Supporting elements of psychological safety management include but are not limited to:


  • Organizational commitment 
  • Policies 
  • Emergency plan
  • Recognition program
  • Participation


Risk Management


Risk management involves establishing and maintaining processes to assess risks from identified hazards, while taking into account the effectiveness of existing controls (CSA Z450001:19).   In the context of psychological health and safety, this may include assessing organizational state as it pertains to the 13 psychosocial factors and planning for continual improvement, or recognizing, assessing and controlling job-specific factors that may impact the mental health of workers. Risk management may also include joint health and safety committee monthly inspections with a focus on psychological health and safety. Supporting elements of psychological risk management include but are not limited to: 


  • Hazard recognition, assessment and control
  • Hazard communication to workers
  • Procedures, safe work plans
  • Inspections
  • Incident reporting and investigation


Training and Education


Training and education are provided with the objective to implement health and safety procedures into specific job practices and to raise awareness and skill levels to an acceptable standard (CCOHS, accessed 2020).  Worker and Supervisor training is a requirement under Ontario’s occupational health and safety act (OHSA, R.S.O 1990).  Training for psychological health and safety includes: 


  • General mental health awareness training
  • New worker orientation
  • Job/hazard-specific training

Where are you on your PHS Prevention Journey?


Find resources, training, and more to support the development of your psychological health and safety program at every stage of readiness.


Unsure? Use the PHS Program Checklist to assess your organization’s needs. 

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Getting Started


If you’re getting started, you may need basic support understanding your legal requirements. Here, the focus is on building awareness, reducing stigma, developing policies, defining roles and responsibilities.

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Moving Forward


You’re moving forward if you have foundational elements in place in one or more of the program components and are ready to move from a reactive state to a more proactive state.

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Implementing Promising Practices


You’re ready to implement promising practices if you’re staying on top of new research and actively engaged in continuous improvement activities related to your PHS program.  

Need Help with Your PHS Program?
Contact a PSHSA Health & Safety Consultant in your area for personalized support with building and improving your organization’s Psychological Health & Safety Program.

More on PHS Program Development


Learn more about the other PHS program components.

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Actions that can be taken to improve a situation. This includes ensuring that workers know how to respond and manage psychological events or report psychological injuries when they occur and are supported in doing so.

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Recovery/Return to Work


Recovery ensures that managers understand how to accommodate a worker who is suffering from a PHS concern and that there are clearly established roles and responsibilities for supporting workers through this process.

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Back to PHS Program Development


PHS program planning resources to support worker well-being and decrease the risk of work-related psychological injury or illness.