Psychological Health & Safety Program Development: PREVENTION – Getting Started

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

An organization who is getting started on their PHS Prevention journey is in a more reactive state and may need help understanding their legal requirements. There is a potential that the organization is dealing with a crisis, or they may simply need basic support. The organization may not be ready or able to make a significant investment in PHS outside of their own organizational resources and capabilities. At this stage, the focus is on building awareness and reducing stigma, developing policies, defining roles and responsibilities.


Below you will find tools and resources to help you in Getting Started with regard to developing and implementing the elements that comprise the Prevention component of your PHS program.

Leadership Commitment & Participation


Psychological health and safety management begins with senior leadership commitment to a healthy and safe workplace. 


Organizational Commitment (Z1003 4.2.3)


  • Senior Leadership Team commitment to Psychological Health and Safety program attained. See CSA Z1003 Annex C3.


Policies (Z1003 4.2.2, 4.2.4)


  • Code of Conduct Policy/Statement developed. See Code of Conduct/Respect in the Workplace Policy Template. 
  • Working Alone Policy developed. See Working Alone Policy Template.


Emergency Plan (Z1003 4.4.7, 4.4.8, 4.2.4)


  • Critical Incident Response Plan for Psychosocial Hazards in place (including workplace violence). See Code White Template and Code Silver Template.
  • Emergency Preparedness Programs Developed and Communicated. See Emergency Management Ontario  and OHA Emergency Management Toolkit.  
  • Critical Event Debriefing programs in place


Recognition Program (Z1003 A.4)


  • Compensation packages adequately represent industry standards for work being performed.
  • Conduct regular review of employee salaries and make adjustments. See Guarding Minds @ Work PF7.


Participation (Z1003,




Risk Management


Risk management involves establishing and maintaining processes to assess risks from identified hazards, while taking into account the effectiveness of existing controls.


Hazard Recognition, Assessment and Control (Z1003 4.3.4)



Hazard Communication to Workers (Z1003 4.3.4)


  • General workplace hazards, including psychological hazards are communicated to workers during orientation. 
  • Client violence risk assessments (VAT) are communicated to workers in a timely manner. 


Procedures / Safe work plans (Z1003 4.4.2, 4.4.7, 4.4.8)


  • Identify job tasks requiring safe work plans pertaining to PHS. This is done by completing organizational and job specific risk assessments (above).


 JHSC Inspections (Z1003 4.3.4)


  • JHSC incorporates of psychological hazards into monthly inspections. See JHSC Inspection Checklist.


Incident Reporting System (Z1003 4.4.9, Audit tool 3.13)


  • Psychological incidents included in Incident Reporting System. Psychological incidents may include incidents of: chronic mental stress, traumatic mental stress, vicarious trauma, moral injury, harassment, workplace violence. See Incident Report Template, WSIB Chronic Mental Stress policy and WSIB Traumatic Mental Stress policy.
  • Reporting may come from various sources, including hazard reports from workers, communication from worker to supervisor, informal report to peer support or formal incident report.



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.


General Mental Health Awareness Training



New Worker Orientation



Job/Hazard-specific Training


Ready for the next phase of Prevention?


PSHSA’s program allows workplaces to evaluate readiness, assess current state, and approach program development one piece at a time, based on current need. Learn about the other implementation phases within Prevention.

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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.  

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Back to Prevention


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.