New health and wellbeing information guides leaders and employees about psychological and physical safety in the workplace, even while working remotely

Building on the years of initiatives and efforts of many to create a positive workplace culture at the university, Human Resources, in partnership with Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), recently launched two new Psychological Health and Safety websites for employees and leaders. Leveraging the work done within the CSA National Standard - Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace as well as recent amendments to the OHS Act and WCB legislation the new websites connect faculty and staff and leaders to information about their responsibilities in creating and sustaining a psychologically safe and healthy workplaces specific to the university context.

A psychologically healthy and safe workplace is comprised of 13 risk factors within four themes:

  • Psychological and social support: individuals feel safe and comfortable in the workplace
  • Civility and respect: individuals are respected and supported by colleagues
  • Workload management: individuals are able to manage their workload in a healthy way
  • Involvement and influence: individuals feel that they have meaningful input into their work, are more engaged and have higher morale and take pride in the organization.

“Psychological health and safety is new to many of us. It can be daunting to know where to start,” says Andrew Cooper, System Planning & Development Team Lead with Health, Safety and Environment. “We have created tools and resources built around 13 psychological health and safety risk factors. They allow our leaders, managers and workers to select a starting point anywhere in the continuum of risk factors to begin their journey. It’s a voluntary approach providing the user with freedom to choose elements for exploration and action that resonate with their work experience.” 

With the launch of the psychological health and safety in workplace website and resources, HR is enabling university staff and supervisors to start a conversation about psychological health and safety in their workplace.  

Lorelei Betke, HSE’s Communications and Research Safety Coordinator

New web content about sexual violence and domestic violence has also been introduced to guide faculty, staff and leaders in making our workplace safe.

Collaborating with the HSE team has also helped us promote psychological safety in the workplace through multiple events and online learning opportunities. In addition to web content, since January 2019, we have conducted more than 90 workshops about mental, physical and social health that reached more than 2,500 participants.

“Health and wellbeing learning opportunities allow me to be proactive about my health and wellbeing so I can be a better contributor to my work life with the university,” says Chandra Wanigaratne, the Information Management Manager in the Research Services Office. With these areas taken care of, I can more freely concentrate on my university work.”

“The topics are wide, varied and very useful. Some are timely and have had a direct positive impact on my life, and other topics are great learning opportunities to handle things better in the future, or allow me to help others with their situations,” she adds.

Learn more about psychological health and safety.