A new standard ISO 45003:2021 is the world’s first standard for addressing psychological health and safety at work. It provides guidance on the management of psychosocial risk, as part of an occupational health and safety management system.
The recent global pandemic has seen a dramatic shift in the way that we conduct our working lives. For many people, the usual work/life balance of home and work has become entirely home-based and this sudden change has affected almost everyone’s professional and personal lives.
Remote working can create situations of isolation for people who both live and work alone as well as a breakdown in working relationships. Further psychosocial health issues can develop from workloads and deadlines, work-life balance disruption, bullying and harassment, fatigue and even worry about career development and job security in these uncertain times.
Side effects from psychosocial risks can start to build over weeks and months and can include:
Physical health problems
Increased blood pressure, muscle pain and fatigue, weakened immune system. Even reproductive health can be impacted in the longer term.
Mental health problems
Anxiety and depression as well as sleep deprivation leading to a reduction in mental agility and efficiency.
Cognitive and emotional problems
Confusion and irrational thinking, poor memory and concentration. Mood swings, negative thoughts, loss of confidence and changes to eating and drinking habits.
Addressing these problems early through a psychological health standard will ensure that:
Your employees’ health and motivation is maintained
Motivated, healthy employees are more effective in the workplace and this will lead to improved recruitment, retention and diversity.
Maximum innovation potential is achieved
Looking after staff health and personal development can result in increased innovation.
Your organisation is protected
Happy, healthy and motivated employees lead to a stronger, more resilient organisation. ISO 45003 also has alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by contributing to goals 3 (good health and well-being), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth), and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure). Such alignment promotes confidence that any organisation choosing to implement ISO 45003 is wanting to prioritise its people.
ISO 45003 is designed to complement the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management System ISO 45001, however, it is also appropriate for organisations that haven’t yet implemented an OH&S.
Do not wait for psychological problems with your staff to have an impact on their health and your organisation. Take action now to protect your team by implementing a process to maintain mental health in the workplace.
Vassallo Associates can advise on the implementation of this new standard ISO 45003, Contact us today to learn more.