ISO 45003: New International standard to manage employee mental health
According to a survey conducted by the HSE, stress, depression and anxiety made up 12.8 million of the 28.2 million estimated days lost in the UK last year. Clearly, this represents a huge cost from both human and economic perspectives.
Given the extraordinary challenges and pressures driven by Covid-19, the number of people suffering from stress-related illnesses is only likely to increase whilst we continue to be impacted by these unprecedented times.
Work is currently underway on a new ISO Standard to help improve the identification and management of employees’ mental health. As its full name (Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work: managing psychosocial risks) suggests, the Standard will aim to train managers on what to look for as well as ensure businesses have processes and policies place to measure, monitor and improve the mental health of all its employees.
ISO 45003 will provide guidance on the following:
The identification of conditions, circumstances and workplace demands that have the potential to impair the psychological health and well-being of workers.
How to identify the primary risk factors and assess them to determine what changes are required to improve the working environment.
Control measures to manage work-related hazards and manage psychosocial risk within an OH&S management system.
This new Standard is currently in its consultation phase and BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body is seeking comments from business owners, line managers, HR and OH&S professionals – and anyone else who has an interest in psychological health and well-being at work. This commenting phase will be open until the 4th October 2020.