ISO45003 – Health & Safety Management Standard for Psychosocial Risks

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In June 2021, ISO45003, the health & safety management standard for psychosocial risks in the workplace was released, providing a globally agreed blueprint for managing workplace mental health.

Traditionally, the majority of organisations put in place significant procedures and protocols to manage physical health and safety at work but little was done regarding an employee’s mental wellbeing.

However, according to EU OSHA, half of EU workers consider stress to be common in their workplace and stress contributes to around half of all lost working days. Outside of the EU, in 2020/21 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50% of all UK work-related ill health cases*

What ISO45003 is doing, is elevating workplace psychological health and safety to the same level as physical health and safety.

If the issue of workplace mental health is left unmanaged, workplace mental health can be considered a material ESG risk.

But, while it is a risk, it can fit within existing ESG frameworks including the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative). In fact, organisations that adopt ISO 45003 can create ESG value as ISO 45003 contributes to 8 of the 10 GRI 403 disclosures and 7 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The primary recommendation is for organisations to adopt a risk management approach to workplace mental health.