Psychosocial Risk Factors (PSR)

Last Updated: May 30, 2020

Definition - What does Psychosocial Risk Factors (PSR) mean?

Psychosocial risk factors (PSR) are interactions and events that may have an adverse effect on a worker's psychological well-being. Poor job design, conflict with a supervisor, tight deadlines and other issues may cause a worker to experience psychological stress. These factors are referred to as psychosocial because they involve both the individual's social interactions with those around him or her and the individual's thoughts and feelings about those interactions.

WorkplaceTesting explains Psychosocial Risk Factors (PSR)

Psychosocial risk factors (PSR) are a subset of the larger category, psychosocial factors. A person's emotional state, social status and engagement with his or her community are all examples of psychosocial factors.

PSRs are those factors that represent a hazard to the individual's well-being. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has identified thirteen factors that employers should monitor to protect their employees' mental well-being. Among the factors identified as important to workers' psychosocial health are psychological support, organizational culture, civility and respect, workload management, engagement, and protection and safety.

PSRs have the potential to negatively affect the individual's mental and emotional health. But, they may also have an effect on his or her physical health. A person may respond to negative psychosocial experiences by physically tightening their muscles, putting them at risk for developing a musculoskeletal disorder. Emotional or mental distress may also distract a worker, causing them to potentially forget important safety procedures.

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