ISO 45003

Psychological Health and Safety at Work. Welcome ISO 45003

Welcome ISO 45003!

Let me start with a story from China of a health and safety consultancy firm I was working with. I was holding training for HSE managers on how to address psychosocial risks at the workplace. One of the attendees mentioned they are working only with blue collars, while the white collars are not experiencing any health and safety risks at the workplace, sitting in their office. Wrong. When talking about safety is not only preventing physical hazards like noise, temperature, exposure to radiation or chemicals, electricity, working from height, etc., and avoiding psychosocial hazards. Psychosocial risks are stressors that can affect employees’ psychological responses, health, and well-being.

ISO 45003: Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work

The need to create a psychologically safe work environment, manage stress, and other psychosocial factors have led International Organization for Standardization to develop the standards to add to the current ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems. Therefore, at the beginning of June, a new ISO standard for Psychological health and safety at work was published.

ISO 45003: Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work: managing psychosocial risks has become the first globally agreed standard for psychological injury prevention.

The trend is evident, and many organizations are more and more often offering measures to improve the mental health and well-being of the employees.

The fact is only a systematic and holistic approach can work to manage or eliminate psychosocial hazards. Meaning the initiatives should be supported by top management, psychosocial risks should be evaluated, a proper action plan should be formed, and employees and their ideas should be involved in establishing a program and setting the measures.

The policies should be appropriate to the organization’s purpose, size, and context. An organization should establish and implement a systematic approach for monitoring and measuring activities and determine the extent to which the policy is complied with, and objectives are met.

Using the 24alife services, we help design suitable policies to address psychosocial risks following step by step, as defined in the ISO 45003 Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work guidelines.

By analyzing psychosocial hazards, we enable the organization to understand the situation and employees’ needs to adjust all further interventions. This approach will allow designing effective policies and measures, programs and taking full advantage of the effects of workplace health promotion in terms of improving the safety, health, and well-being of the employees.

With more than ten years of experience on the market and emphasizing the need to improve mental health at work, we understand the harmful effects of psychological risks on performance, sick leaves, and financial costs related to psychologically unhealthy environments. Therefore we encourage each company to follow the new ISO standard for Psychological health and safety at work guidelines.

I wish managing stress and other psychological hazards will be once as common as wearing a helmet at the construction site.

Eva Kovač

Eva Kovac is a performance psychologist working in the field of talent management, organizational psychology, and performance psychology. She is educated as a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist, a medical hypnotherapist. Eva has rich global experiences working with international organizations on employee well-being programs and professional athletes, teams, managers, and talents. Eva is also a guest speaker at many international conferences on psychology-related topics. Stress managment facilitator for Apollo Hospitals, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, NSIC, AIMA, Roseate Hotels and many others.