The mental health of workers has become a hot topic over the last few years, with the stresses and strains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic acting as a catalyst to change.
Psychological health can have a huge impact on a workplace, influencing how workers feel, and learn, as well as how they handle relationships with colleagues and customers. This can lead to mistakes being made, or even accidents taking place.
Poor mental health can also contribute towards increased absenteeism, which can be costly. Indeed, the 2019/20 report by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) revealed that stress, depression and anxiety resulted in the loss of 17.9 million working days over the year, a total that is likely to have had a significant influence on business productivity.
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have made mental health an even greater concern. According to a report by Lloyds Register, which interviewed more than 5,000 workers across the globe, 70% of respondents reported an increase in work-related stress between March and December 2020.
As a result, the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) has developed a Standard solely focused on psychosocial risks in the workplace to help organisations develop a more positive working environment.
Introducing ISO 45003
The new ISO 45003 is written as a set of practical guidelines. Using them, organisations can implement processes that protect their workers from psychological hazards and support their mental well-being. These processes focus on the identification of risk and any workplace conditions or demands that could impact psychological health. There are also guidelines that outline how organisations can analyse these risks and create strategies to mitigate or remove them.
To keep the Standard relevant to the post-pandemic world, remote working and out-of-office working has also been included, along with the issues that are unique to an ageing workforce.
Benefits of doing this can include reduced absenteeism, greater staff retention and recruitment, as well as enhanced productivity. Having these processes in place can also encourage better diversity among your workforce.
Achieving ISO 45003
ISO 45003 can be achieved as a standalone product, although as a set of guidelines it means you cannot be certified to it in the same way as ISO 45001, for example.
However, QMS will be offering a bespoke certificate in the Standard, which will demonstrate your compliance with the principles of ISO 45003.
The ISO have also designed ISO 45003 so that its processes can be easily incorporated into another management system. It is particularly relevant to ISO 45001, the Standard for occupational health & safety, and can help you to create a comprehensive framework that safeguards both the physical and mental health of your employees.
QMS will therefore be offering the Standard in combination with the following Standards:
- ISO 45001 (occupational health & safety) and ISO 45003
- ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 45003
- ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and ISO 45003
- ISO 9001, ISO 14001 (environmental management), ISO 45001 and ISO 45003
If you would like to find out more about ISO 45003 and the different products QMS has developed for the Standard, take a look at our dedicated webpage.