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Last edited 21 Apr 2021
BS ISO 45003 Psychological health and safety at work - managing psychosocial risks
ISO 45003 Occupational health and safety management. Psychological health and safety at work: managing psychosocial risks is being developed as the first global standard giving practical guidance on managing psychological health at work. It provides guidance on the management of psychosocial risk as part of an occupational health and safety management system.
ISO 45003 is part of a suite of standards associated with ISO 45001, which is a holistic global health and safety management system. ISO 45001 makes it clear that employers are responsible for the physical and mental health (as well as safety) of their staff members. As such, ISO 45003 may help organisations that are already using an occupational health and safety management system based on ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety.
As of April 2021, ISO PAS 45003 is in the 'draft' stage, but the majority of the content has been finalised and will not likely change upon its publication as a full International Standard. This means it can be used in its current format, which includes:
- Information on how to recognise the psychosocial hazards that can affect workers, such as those that arise from home working.
- Examples of effective – often simple - actions that can be taken to manage these and improve employee wellbeing.
- Guidance to build a positive working environment (particularly for organisations that have not yet implemented an occupational health and safety management system). This framework may help to improve organisational resilience and enhance performance and productivity.
- Reduced absence from workplace stress, burnout, anxiety and depression.
- Improved recruitment, retention and diversity.
- Legal compliance.
- Alignment with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating an organisation's commitment to ensuring decent working conditions, health and wellbeing.
 Discussing implementation
During a presentation on Implementing ISO 45003, Sapna Mahajan, Director, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives, Mental Health Commission of Canada made the point that the longer someone is off from work for issues around mental wellbeing, the more difficult it is for that person to return to work. She also raised the issue of stigma - both external and internal - and stated that it was one of the greatest barriers for those who require assistance.
Acknowledging that the word standard can be scary, Mahajan relayed how 40 organisations in Canada have successfully adopted a similar framework which has fostered an environment where employees are no longer afraid to seek help.
Daniela Campos, Technical Director, Department of Psychosocial Risks ACHS, Chile, also introduced the importance of COPSOQ (Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire) in providing some of the framework for ISO 45003. COPSOQ has been used as an instrument for research to inform the assessment of psychosocial conditions and health promotion at workplaces.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Designing for employee wellbeing.
- Health and safety for building design and construction.
- International Organisation for Standardisation ISO.
- Mental health and wellbeing.
- New building legislation and guidance.
- UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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