Standards for Managing Psychological Health and Safety at Work

BS ISO 45003:2021 – Occupational health and safety management. Psychological health and safety at work. Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks

The new International Standard, ISO 45003, is a sign of progress in the world. It will give companies and organisations more power to control their staff’s mental health by providing support for psychosocial risks within the workplace. This will allow everyone involved with an organisation to avoid any detrimental effects that psychological disorders can have on both employees or employers alike.

Many organisations have the misconception that mental health is not as costly in comparison to physical ailments resulting from occupational hazards.

However, a recent report by Deloitte suggests that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year and yet few organisations actually employ specialists for this area of OH&S. BS ISO 45003:2021 provides simple guidance on how to manage psychosocial risks at work which will help improve people’s overall development both intellectually and physically while also supporting their well being so they can achieve success during their careers or personal life journeys where ever those may take them.

Who is BS ISO 45003:2021 for?

ISO 45003 has been written to help organisations who are already using who are already using an occupational health and safety management system based on ISO 45001. It will also help organisations who are not currently using anything.

It’s aimed at all types and sizes of organization, across all sectors. Specific users will include:

  • Line managers
  • HR teams
  • Health and Safety Teams
  • Business owners
  • CEOs and board members

 The benefits of using this new standard

  • You’ll be able to prioritise and identify where psychosocial risks arise and how they can be mitigated or eliminated
  • It will help you to develop expertise, increase people’s trust and manage risk better
  • Organisations can prevent work-related ill-health and benefit from Improved worker engagement
  • Enhanced productivity and higher levels of discretionary effort and motivation
  • Greater organizational resilience and legal compliance

The costs of not prioritising people and their psychosocial health

Well the ultimate human cost is loss of life through suicide. According to the office of national statistics in 2019, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales.

Around three-quarters of registered deaths in 2019 were among men (4,303 deaths), which follows a consistent trend back to the mid-1990s.

Poor mental health has a huge impact on an individual’s life and those around them. Impacts can range from lack of sleep or panic attacks; difficulty in concentrating; and low confidence. This can lead to a downwards spiral, as an individual may withdraw from social situations and lose their support networks and structures at a time when they need them most.

The knock-on impact on family life and friends is also important here, with many people ‘holding it together’ at work, but then not being themselves at home. Poor mental health also means that individuals can find themselves less able to cope with elements of their personal lives such as relationship breakdown, problem finance and housing worries.

Other costs include;

  • Poor health, including cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Poor health behaviours, including substance abuse and unhealthy eating
  • Reduced job satisfaction, commitment and performance
  • Increased absence from workplace stress, burnout, anxiety and depression
  • Higher costs for the organisation due to negative impacts on turnover, productivity, quality, training and recruitment
  • Higher costs from workplace investigations, litigation and reputational damage

Essential 6 deliver highly engaging training from our licenced and highly respected Mental Health First Aid England Trainers. This will be a critical first step in helping your organisation. A sample of the range of courses that we can provide to you are below and should you need something specific or to find out more then just call us on 0845 272 3558 or email [email protected]

Adult Mental Health First Aid

Adult Mental Health Champions

Adult Mental Health Aware

Youth Mental Health First Aid


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