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What’s the deal with ISO 45003?

ISO 45003 is a new standard that came into effect in June this year focussing specifically on mental health. Concern for mental health in the workplace is not new but until now there has been no global standard giving practical guidance and advice on how to manage psychosocial risk within the workplace. An area which is increasingly becoming more apparent since the pandemic.

Built upon the framework of ISO 45001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems), the new standard provides guidance to promote a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. It is a guidance document rather than comprising formal accreditation but is beneficial for all organisations to review regardless of their ISO accreditation status.

The standard helps in identifying the conditions, circumstances and workplace demands that could potentially impair psychological health and wellbeing, and gives practical guidance on how to improve the working environment. Within today’s workplace this is particularly relevant as the reduced physical contact between employees and the workplace can often make mental distress harder to spot and even harder to manage. Taken into a greater context of reduced social contact with family and friends, this isolation can have a significant impact on psychological wellbeing.

ISO 45003 is free to read as part of the International Organisation for Standardisation’s covid response and can be accessed here.

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