First international guide to mental health

First international guide to mental health

In its role as the UK National Standards Body, BSI has published an international guidance standard on psychological health and safety and how to manage psychosocial risks at work.

The new standard, named ISO 45003: Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work — Guidelines for managing psychosocial risksprovides recommendations to organisations on how to prevent work-related psychological ill health in their workers and other relevant interested parties.

Psychosocial hazards are increasingly being recognised as major challenges to health, safety and well-being at work. For the past 18 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted ways of working and required people to adapt to new challenges, such as increased isolation.

For organisations, psychosocial risks include higher costs due to absence from work, reduced ability to work effectively and increased staff turnover, as well as damage to the organisation’s reputation. Effective management can eliminate or mitigate these risks and lead to benefits such as improved engagement, enhanced productivity, and organisational resilience and sustainability.

Scott Steedman, director-general of standards at BSI, says: “We are proud to have led the development of ISO 45003, the first international standard on managing psychosocial health and safety at work. The global pandemic has put new pressures on people whose employers expect them to work from home or in challenging new working conditions. This important business standard is a consensus of good practice for organisations everywhere, providing off-the-shelf advice for companies so that they can enhance the well-being of their employees while striving to meet business needs, a win-win outcome.”

A committee consisting of experts from 40 countries developed this international standard to be practical and easy to understand for every organisation, including those without a dedicated occupational health and safety or human resources function. It applies to organisations of all sizes and in all sectors, for the development, implementation, maintenance and continual improvement of healthy and safe workplaces.

Organisations can purchase the standard via the BSI website here.

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SHEQ Management

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