Psychosocial risks in the workplace

Psychosocial occupational risks are defined as: "Factors that are related to work organization, management practices, employment conditions and social relations and that increase the probability of generating adverse effects on the physical and mental health of exposed individuals."

Why worry about psychosocial risks factors in the workplace?

  • To prevent and reduce adverse impacts on mental health (distress, depression, anxiety disorders) and physical health (musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease).
  • To meet legal responsibilities in terms of occupational health and safety, which also cover mental health (LSST Article 51).
  • To reduce health-related costs that affect productivity: absenteeism, staff turnover, presenteeism, early retirement, workplace accidents, etc.

Main psychosocial risk factors in the workplace

  • Workload
  • Decision latitude 
  • Recognition at work 
  • Social support from from colleagues or supervisors 
  • Information and communication

Intervention tools developed by INSPQ

Awareness sheet

An abundance of scientific evidence from around the world points to the adverse effects of workplace psychosocial risks on mental health and physical health. But which risks are we talking about? Why should we be concerned? Which group of workers are at greater risk? These are the questions addressed in this fact sheet Psychosocial risks in the workplace: measurable and modifiable health risks.

Fact sheets on management Practices that Promote Workplace Mental Health (INSPQ)

These publications are checklists of good management practices for preventing certain psychosocial risks in the workplace.

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