Supporting the mental health of workers – British Standard ISO 45003:2021

Supporting the mental health of workers British Standard ISO Safety Forward

ISO 45003 is the first global standard giving practical guidance on managing psychological health in the workplace. It provides guidance on the management of psychosocial risk, as part of an occupational health and safety management system, all resulting in supporting the mental health of workers, which has never been so imperative in these current times. The voluntary standard sets out what an organisation should have in place to improve employees’ psychological health, safety and wellbeing. This will involve taking a more cohesive approach to occupational health and wellbeing and taking account of psychological and mental health.

Founded in 1947, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is an internationally recognised organisation that establishes standards for organisations in 165 countries worldwide. They are the world’s largest and most recognised developer of voluntary international standards and they facilitate world trade by providing common standards among nations.

ISO 45003:2021 will provide help in identifying the conditions, circumstances and workplace demands that could potentially impair psychological health and wellbeing, and will focus on how to improve the overall working environment.  It builds on what is covered by ISO 45001, which is designed to prevent work-related injury and ill health and to provide safe and healthy workplaces, and defines a psychologically healthy and safe workplace as one that ‘promotes workers’ psychological wellbeing and actively works to prevent harm to psychological health, including in negligent, reckless or intentional ways’.

Why ISO 45003 is good for your organisation?

Aside from the obvious benefit of a happier, healthier workforce, managing psychosocial risks has a knock-on effect to almost every other business function. Supporting the mental health of workers will succeed in:-

  • High levels of discretionary effort.
  • Improved recruitment, retention and diversity.
  • Enhanced worker engagement.
  • Increased innovation.
  • Legal compliance.
  • Reduced absence from workplace stress, burnout, anxiety and depression

Engaged workers can lead to an increase in productivity and a positive impact on a company. When employees are not committed or fully vested in a safety culture, they’re not overly concerned with their performance and they are not invested in the future success of the company. This negatively can affect day-to-day operations, inhibit a company’s growth and put workers’ safety at risk. Not only does poor safety and health cost companies money, but good OSH pays dividends as businesses with higher safety and health standards are more successful and more sustainable.

For further guidance on ISO45003:2021 and supporting the mental health of workers, please contact us here.