Roles and Responsibilities

Information for Employees

Vicarious trauma is an occupational health and safety issue. Under the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, employers are responsible for preventing and reducing the risk of vicarious trauma by changing aspects of the work.

Though employees aren’t responsible for preventing vicarious trauma, it can still be helpful to know things that you can do to mitigate the risk – and where to turn if you think work is negatively impacting your mental health. The resources below provide further information on vicarious trauma, and things that can help support you in your work.

Information for Health and Safety Representatives

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) play an important role in occupational health and safety by representing employees’ interests. With the announcement of the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations, psychological health and safety will be increasingly relevant for HSRs.

Information for Managers and Supervisors

Great management and supervision can reduce the risk of vicarious trauma. If you manage or supervise staff who are exposed to traumatic content at work, it’s critical to have a solid understanding of vicarious trauma—what it is, what contributes to the risk, and what you can do to mitigate the risk.

The resources below will help you understand vicarious trauma. They also provide information on how managers and supervisors can help reduce the risk of vicarious trauma for employees, and how to support staff who may already be experiencing vicarious trauma.

Information for Organisational Leadership

Employers are obligated to consult employees when identifying and controlling risks and hazards.

Consultation involves sharing relevant information with employees, giving employees a reasonably opportunity to express their views on the matter, and taking those views into account.

These resources outline the processes used to assess an organisation’s current capacity for managing vicarious trauma, identifying priority areas, and a blueprint for planning and implementing change.