ISO 45003 standard is the first international standard that provides guidelines for managing psychological health and safety risks in an occupational health and safety system. It helps you build a positive working environment that can help improve organisational resilience and enhance performance and productivity.
It addresses the many factors, such as inadequate communication, excessive pressure, poor leadership, and organisational culture, that can impact a worker’s psychological health.
Employers are responsible for safeguarding the physical and mental health of their employees.
ISO 45003 intends to complement the current ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Management Systems standard as a part of the occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system
ISO 45003 Psychological Health and Safety at Work
The standard addresses the following:
1) How can we identify conditions, situations, and workplace demands potentially hindering workers’ psychological health and well-being?
2) How can we recognise primary risk factors and analyse them to determine what measures are necessary to improve working conditions?
3) How to find and control work-related hazards and manage psychosocial risk within an occupational health and safety management system?
Psychosocial risks are elements in the planning or administration of the job that give rise to work-related stress and potentially cause psychological or physical harm. Poor supervisor support or demanding jobs are two examples of psychosocial hazards.
Employees are probably exposed to a variety of psychosocial risks. At work, some risks might be around for a while, whereas others only turn up occasionally. Employers shouldn’t consider hazardous psychosocial situations in isolation because when they combine and act together, there is a higher risk of work-related stress.
Common Psychosocial Risks
The Common psychosocial risks are as follows:
- Low job control.
- High and low job demands.
- Poor support.
- Poor organisational change management.
- Poor organisational justice.
- Low recognition and reward.
ISO 45003: Guidelines to Manage Psychosocial Risks
Context of Organisation
An organisation should:
a) consider both internal and external factors that may have an impact on the achievement of the decided results of the OH&S management system.
b) comprehend the needs and expectations of employees and other relevant interested parties.
c) consider which of these needs and expectations are, or may become, legal and other requirements.
d) modify the design of activities to manage psychosocial risk to satisfy these considerations.
e) customise activities to enhance the process’s clarity, validity, reliability, and efficacy in managing psychosocial risk.
f) decide how the assessment of psychosocial risks will be used to create efficient action plans.
4.1.2 External Risks
With psychosocial risk, the organisation should identify external issues critical to achieving the goals of the OH&S management system.
External problems can consist of:
a) the organisation’s supply chain, which can influence psychosocial risks and associated hazards (e.g., through time constraints, schedules, or production pressure).
b) connections with suppliers, providers, suppliers, contractors, and other interested parties.
c) sharing workplaces, resources, and equipment with third parties (for instance, if the organisation works on construction sites with other organisations).
d) The demands of customers and/or clients for the provision of services (e.g., demands may have an impact on psychosocial risks through violence, harassment, and time constraints).
e) economic circumstances that may impact where, when, and how much work is available.
f) the type of employment agreements, compensation, working conditions, and labour relations.
g) the characteristics of the workers who are looking for work. For example – their age or gender, or whether they are younger or older workers.
h) quick technological change (e.g., the impact of artificial intelligence and automation technology, increased connectivity to electronic devices).
i) labour force mobility, which increases diversity among employees from various racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
j) the organization’s geographic region’s broader context includes social, economic, and public health concerns (e.g., pandemics, natural disasters, financial crises).
4.1.3 Internal Difficulties
Internal problems that could influence how the OH&S management system is supposed to respond to psychosocial risk include:
a) the organization’s structure, roles and responsibilities, formal and informal decision-making processes’ effectiveness and efficiency, organisational culture, management style, communication style, and respect for privacy;
b) the organization’s degree of dedication and direction concerning psychological health, safety, and well-being at work, as outlined in policy statements, guidelines, objectives, and strategies.
c) Additional management frameworks that the organisation has implemented and that interact with the management of psychosocial risks, such as those built on the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards.
d) the number of employees and their makeup (large, small, complex, or highly decentralised).
e) characteristics of employees and the workforce, such as gender, age, race, religion, ability to speak a foreign language, and literacy and numeracy levels.
f) The ability of employees to identify psychosocial risks and manage them;
g) workplaces (such as mobile workers without a fixed place of employment, remote workers, at-home workers, lone workers, or workers in remote, rural areas);
h) the terms and conditions of the workforce (such as flexible work schedules, pay and benefits, and part-time, casual, or temporary employment);
4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties
The organisation should comprehend and ascertain the needs and expectations of employees and other interested parties about managing psychosocial risk.
Psychosocial risks at work can have an impact on a variety of needs and expectations that employees and other interested parties have.
These requirements and demands may cover:
— monetary stability.
— companionship and social interaction.
— achievement, inclusion, reward, and recognition.
— growth and personal development.
— fair treatment and equal opportunity at work.
Legal requirements (such as OH&S and human rights legislation), collective agreements, voluntary agreements, and other requirements to which the organisation subscribes or adheres can include needs and expectations.
4.3 Determining OH&S Management System’s Scope
The company should confirm that the OH&S management system explicitly addresses the organization’s operations and activities regarding the management of psychosocial risk.
4.4 OH&S Management System
When it comes to managing psychosocial risk, the organisation should ensure that its OH&S management system is still appropriate, efficient, and pertinent to its operations and activities.
5. Leadership and worker participation
5.1 Leadership and commitment
The organisation as a whole must be committed to managing psychosocial risk effectively.
This should be implemented with help from managers and employees at all levels, under the direction of top management.
a) show initiative and dedication to reducing psychosocial risk and fostering employee well-being:
b) recognise, keep track of, and understand its roles and obligations in managing psychosocial risks.
c) identify the resources required and make them quickly and effectively available.
d) make managing psychosocial risk more sustainable by incorporating it into strategic plans, as well as current systems, processes, and reporting structures.
e) safeguard employees from retaliation or threats of retaliation for reporting incidents, risks, and opportunities.
f) explain how those who report or raise concerns about workplace psychosocial risk will be protected, including whistle-blowers, victims, witnesses, and others.
g) gather and offer feedback to ascertain how well the OH&S management system is managing and preventing psychosocial risk, both during implementation and operation;
h) equip workers with the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out their roles and responsibilities in identifying and managing psychosocial risk.
i) remove obstacles that may hinder employee participation and work to increase it.
j) actively involve staff members in ongoing discussions about managing psychosocial risk.
k) aiding and admonishing employees to engage in the control of psychosocial risk at work actively.
5.2 OH&S Guidelines
5.2.1 Top management should consider the following when creating an OH&S policy for the company:
a) make sure the OH&S policy includes commitments to preventing illnesses and accidents linked to psychosocial risk and promoting well-being at work.
b) assess whether a distinct policy for handling psychosocial risk is necessary.
c) Consider how other policies (such as corporate social responsibility and human resources) support and are consistent with the OH&S policy to achieve shared goals.
The OH&S policy ought to:
a) Be appropriate for the organization’s purpose, size, and context.
b) incorporate a pledge to uphold the law and other requirements for workplace health, safety, and well-being, including a commitment to manage psychosocial risk.
c) offer a structure for establishing, revaluating, and revising goals for the management of psychosocial risk.
d) encourage and improve a workplace that adheres to the values of respect for others, confidentiality, teamwork, and dignity in the OH&S management system.
e) be distributed to all employees, so they are informed of their rights and obligations.
f) be periodically examined to ensure it is still pertinent and appropriate for the organisation.
In developing a policy to manage psychosocial risk, the organisation should consult the workers and, where applicable, worker representatives and other interested parties.
The implementation and improvement of psychosocial risk management within the overall OH&S management system can be guided by policy related to psychosocial risk.
The policy can help upper management and other staff members comprehend the organization’s overall commitment and how this may affect individual responsibilities.
The company should consider whether it needs the policy to handle psychosocial risk.
5.3 Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities
Top management should make roles, responsibilities, and authorities for managing psychosocial risk in the workplace so the OH&S management system can operate effectively.
Workforce members in various roles must collaborate well in order to manage psychosocial risks in the workplace (e.g., human resources, line managers, workers with specific OH&S responsibilities).
The company should encourage and support employee participation in actively reducing psychosocial risks.
5.4 Consultation and Workers participation
The development, planning, implementation, maintenance, evaluation, and continuous improvement of healthy and safe workplaces, as well as the success of the process(es) to manage psychosocial risk, depending on the input and participation of workers and, where applicable, worker representatives.
Along with the prerequisites listed in ISO 45001:2018, 5.4, the organisation must:
a) give employees the chance to provide feedback so that the organisation can assess how well psychosocial risks are managed.
b) Promote involvement and engagement, for instance, in peer-to-peer support networks or health and safety committees, if appropriate given the organization’s size and context.
This consultation process should be carried out directly with workers in smaller organisations where formal worker representation may be lacking.
At every stage of managing psychosocial risk, the organisation should consult with the workforce, taking into account their experience and knowledge.
The company and its employees each have distinct roles and responsibilities.
Work councils, health and safety committees, and other representational bodies are also crucial.
Participation in decision-making can increase a worker’s drive and dedication to support safe and psychologically healthy workplaces.
Participation that is supported and encouraged, contrary to what has been coerced, is more likely to be successful and long-lasting.
Concerns about resistance, unfavourable attitudes, apathy, and the delicate nature of the impact of psychosocial hazards can all be related to engaging workers.
Any of these worries may stem from failed previous endeavours.
As a result, when establishing the OH&S management system, care should be taken to address the concerns of employees and other interested parties, and participation and consultation should be encouraged.
Where worker representatives are present, involving them can help avoid or reduce worker concerns.
Additionally, organisations should encourage ongoing participation, engagement, and consultation and solicit feedback throughout the entire planning and implementation process.
The management of psychosocial risks in any organisation depends on the meaningful and active participation of all pertinent parties.
6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities
22.214.171.124 The organisation should think about the concerns mentioned in Clause 4 and identify the opportunities and risks that need to be addressed, such
a) Psychosocial risks
b) Injury and illness prevention.
c) Techniques for returning to the workforce.
d) Possibilities for development, such as encouraging workplace wellness.
e) the creation, evaluation, and upkeep of systems, procedures, and reporting frameworks pertinent to managing psychosocial risk.
f) The organization should create a priority list of actions based on its analysis of psychosocial risks.
126.96.36.199 Planning should be used by an enterprise for:
a) establishing appropriate goals.
b) decide how to fulfil legal and other requirements while achieving the goals for managing psychosocial risk.
c) to show a dedication to continuous improvement that, whenever possible, goes above and beyond what is required by law.
188.8.131.52 The following factors should be considered by the organisation when planning:
a) the demands and goals of specific worker groups, such as those who work alone, remotely, or belong to minority groups.
b) the requirements of particular workplaces, operations, or tasks;
c) the findings of the evaluation of psychosocial risks in order to comprehend their nature and underlying causes.
d) taking steps to get rid of psychosocial risks and lessen the risks that come with them.
e) the assessment of those steps and their results.
f) the management of the procedure through review and revision to adapt to changing requirements while recognising best practices.
g) the required resources.
h) the best ways to actively involve employees through participation and consultation.
6.1.2 Hazard Identification and assessment of risks and opportunities
184.108.40.206 Identification of hazards
220.127.116.11.1 The company ought to:
a) Recognize the underlying causes of harm before considering control measures to enhance the efficacy of actions to manage psychosocial risk.
b) Create ongoing, proactive processes for hazard identification and maintain them.
18.104.22.168 Evaluation of Opportunities and Risks
The company should evaluate the risks associated with the recognised psychosocial hazards (see 6.1.2) and look for ways to lower those risks and promote continuous improvement.
This evaluation should
a) Inform the audience of the potential harm.
b) contrast groups that are exposed to or report psychosocial risks differently.
c) take into account the interaction between psychosocial risks and risks from other known hazards.
d) order hazards based on their level of risk.
e) take into account the needs of specific groups, the organization’s larger context, and the workforce’s diversity.
f) Describe the preventative measures and areas for improvement.
6.2 Goals for Reducing Psychosocial Risk
The company ought to:
a) set measurable goals that are in line with the policy.
b) Create and carry out strategies to ensure these goals can be accomplished.
Concerning the management of psychosocial risk, the organisation should establish, provide, and maintain the resources necessary to achieve its goals.
The company should take into account the unique human, financial, technological, and other resources of its operations.
7.2.1 The company ought to:
a) acquire the skills required to recognise psychosocial risks, manage them, and understand how they can interact with other risks and with each other, as well as the nature and extent of their potential outcomes.
b) take appropriate measures, such as professional development and training, to assist employees in acquiring and maintaining the necessary competence.
c) guarantee that employees and other pertinent parties are qualified to put into practice the procedures and measures required for the reduction of psychosocial risks.
d) Ensure that staff members and other pertinent parties are aware of the procedures for raising or reporting concerns.
e) seek pertinent outside counsel if the organisation lacks this information.
f) determine whether the steps taken to ensure competence were adequate.
g) consider each worker’s unique needs, background, language abilities, literacy, and diversity.
7.2.2 The organisation should decide what competence standards apply to:
a) top executives and personnel in charge of line management.
b) personnel conducting risk assessments.
c) Employees carrying out interventions and other control measures (see 8.1.1).
d) personnel reviewing and evaluating the process and its results.
When determining the competence required for identifying, preventing, and managing psychosocial risks, the organisation should consult workers and keep records of all training and other competence-related actions.
7.3.1 The company should, as necessary, inform staff members and other pertinent parties of workplace variables that can:
a) impact employee health, safety, and happiness at work.
b) could lead to the development of stigma and/or discrimination.
c) reduction of psychosocial risks.
d) support their roles and obligations to advance health and safety and improve workplace well-being.
7.3.2 The organisation should consider the following factors when increasing its understanding of psychosocial risk:
a) the significance of top management backing for disclosing psychosocial risks and protection from punishment for doing so.
b) steps that employee can take to address psychosocial risks and the expected response from the organisation.
c) The potential advantages of workers and other interested parties exchanging experiences and best practices.
d) the workers’ and other interested parties’ current training and knowledge.
e) the requirement to incorporate and embed knowledge of psychosocial risks into procedures and guidelines (for instance, during new employee orientation.
f) opportunities made available by currently held gatherings (such as regular staff meetings and events for the entire organisation).
g) the hazards, chances, and effects brought on by changes in the workplace.
h) The requirement to recognise stigma and/or discrimination and to take appropriate action to end it.
The company should inform staff members and other interested parties of the steps it is taking to manage psychosocial risks, such as encouraging employees to report psychosocial hazards, lowering the likelihood that they shall face negative consequences for doing so, and fostering trust in its OH&S management system.
To manage psychosocial risks, promote workplace well-being, and inform employees and other interested parties of what is expected of them and what they can anticipate from the organisation, communication is crucial.
Information on the psychosocial risk that is accessible, understandable, and usable should be distributed by the organisation to employees and other pertinent interested parties.
In its communications, the company should:
a) Show top management’s commitment to helping employees learn more about and use processes.
b) give employees the chance to give top management feedback on actions, programmes, and policies aimed at promoting worker involvement.
c) describe the evolution of its procedures for managing psychosocial risk and the efficiency of those procedures.
d) respond to suggestions and queries from staff members and other interested parties regarding psychosocial risks and their input into the OH&S management system;
e) Describe how changes at work may affect employees’ health, safety, and well-being;
f) Offer data from audits and other assessments.
g) Accessible information that is tailored to the needs of the workforce should be available (e.g., in different languages or using different media such as video clips or audio files).
7.5 Information Documentation
The OH&S management system of the organisation should contain any documentation required for the efficient management of psychosocial risks.
Included in the documentation are:
a) techniques for managing psychosocial risk.
b) information on the roles, obligations, and powers.
c) evaluations of the psychosocial risks.
d) the effectiveness of monitoring, evaluating, and control measures.
e) The methods used to comply with statutory and other requirements.
In order to protect the confidentiality of personal information, the organisation should set up procedures related to psychosocial risks that take into account all applicable legal and other requirements.
The company ought to:
a) uphold the confidentiality of information, both documented and undocumented, regarding a specific worker’s experience with psychosocial risk.
b) prevent the release of information regarding medical information and outcomes following exposure to psychosocial hazards (such as medical treatment, time away from work, and flexible work arrangements).
c) Make workers aware of any confidentiality restrictions.
8.1 Controlling and planning operations
To manage psychosocial risks and new opportunities, the organisation should plan, implement, control, and maintain processes, including actions or activities to:
a) by taking into account the best fit between tasks, structures, and work processes and the needs of workers, eliminate hazards and reduce psychosocial risks;
b) examine the safeguards in place for managing psychosocial risks and their impacts on people or the organisation.
c) examine, analyse, and assess current management techniques and worker assistance for reducing psychosocial risks, workplace stress, and other related health outcomes.
d) adopt a thorough, long-term plan that takes into account the organization’s policies, structure, available resources, current systems and methods.
e) plan and organise tasks to minimise risks to psychological safety and health and to foster workplace well-being.
22.214.171.124 The company should finish a psychosocial risk assessment, accounting for existing safeguards, to:
a) assess whether these controls are sufficient or need to be improved.
b) determine whether new controls are necessary if exposure to psychosocial hazards has been linked to actual or potential harm.
c) whenever possible, eliminate work-related psychosocial hazards; if this is not possible, control associated risks in accordance with the hierarchy of controls (see ISO 45001:2018, Clause 8).
126.96.36.199 The following levels of intervention can be combined when managing psychosocial risks:
a) Organizational level safeguards that prevent or lessen negative effects and advance workplace well-being.
b) secondarily: expanding the tools available to help workers manage psychosocial risks by promoting awareness and understanding through efficient training and other suitable action.
c) Tertiary: By putting rehabilitation programmes into place and taking other corrective and supportive measures, psychosocial hazards’ negative effects are lessened.
NOTE 1: Some businesses have their own worker assistance or occupational health services. If necessary, organisations that lack internal expertise can look for help from qualified outside sources.
NOTE 2: The hierarchy of controls to support efficient psychosocial risk management is reflected in the three levels of primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions.
8.1.2 Removing risks, lowering OH&S risks, and fostering workplace well-being
188.8.131.52 Psychosocial Risk Management Strategies
Well-being at work is promoted by removing risks and lowering psychosocial risks.
Numerous tactics can be used to control psychosocial risks and advance OH&S.
In collaboration with workers and, where applicable, worker representatives, strategies for removing risks, lowering psychosocial risks, and promoting well-being should be created.
184.108.40.206 Workplace Organisational Measures to reduce Psychosocial Risk
Control measures for psychosocial risks associated with work organisation should be implemented by the organisation.
In many instances, this necessitates not only task modification but also the redesign of work processes.
Measures may consist of:
a) giving employees more control over how they complete their work, such as by implementing flexible scheduling, job sharing, more consultation about working conditions, or giving employees the ability to set the pace at which tasks are completed;
b) allowing breaks to combat fatigue and limiting work-related phone and email contact during non-working hours;
c) informing employees and, where applicable, worker representatives of changes to the workplace and how these changes may affect them;
d) defining job responsibilities, supervisory relationships, and performance standards to reduce ambiguity and confusion;
e) setting priorities for tasks and allowing for flexible deadlines;
f) promoting competence development and assigning tasks to employees who have the knowledge, expertise, and experience necessary for the task’s complexity and duration;
g) facilitating improved access to social support for employees who work remotely or in remote locations;
h) limiting isolated or remote work, as necessary;
i) give employees good guidance, constructive criticism, and supervision;
j) changing attitudes towards controlling and disclosing psychosocial risks, such as stress at work, harassment, bullying, and workplace violence;
k) Offering assistance during increased workload (e.g., additional or more experienced workers).
220.127.116.11 Social factor-related Measures to reduce Psychosocial Risk
The organisation should implement control measures for psychosocial risks associated with work-related social factors.
Measures may consist of:
a) raising workers’ awareness of psychosocial risks and educating and preparing them to report them;
b) promoting early issue reporting by staff members by displaying the company’s dedication to maintaining confidentiality and fostering a supportive, respectful work environment.
c) putting in place assistance programmes for staff members who are suffering adverse effects from exposure to psychosocial risks;
d) creating organisational guidelines and policies that specify acceptable workplace conduct and how it will be handled. A document on the same shall be created and stored.
e) giving detailed instructions on how to control foreseeably dangerous situations, how to react in the event of an incident, and how to assist workers after one;
f) offering training to increase awareness and the necessary abilities to spot psychosocial risks and spot early symptoms of stress and illness at work;
g) giving people access to or information on support services, general occupational health services, private debriefing, counselling, and conflict resolution services;
h) informing employees of their legal rights and obligations;
i) honouring the dedication and success of employees;
j) enhancing workplace culture through a variety of integrated programmes (such as social responsibility, environmental sustainability, health and safety management practices, and community engagement);
k) promoting an environment free from harassment and violence and mental injury at work.
l) ensuring that victims of workplace violence and harassment—including sexual harassment and violence against women—have access to caring and secure support services.
18.104.22.168 Psychosocial Risk Control Measures related to Work Environment, Equipment and hazardous Tasks
A Company in Australia should implement control measures for psychosocial risks associated with work environment, equipment and hazardous tasks, including:
a) providing, and maintaining appropriate equipment for performing the work (e.g. manual handling equipment) and improving equipment as necessary;
b) improving workplace surroundings and physical workplace features to isolate or protect workers from hazards (e.g. noise, lighting, vibration, temperature, chemicals);
c) isolating or protecting workers from psychosocial hazards, e.g. with physical barriers to reduce risk of violence;
d) providing and requiring the use of appropriate and effective personal protective equipment (PPE) where there are risks that cannot be minimized using more effective higher order controls.
NOTE: Appropriate PPE can reduce workers’ concerns about exposure to a range of other hazards and can contribute to controlling and reducing psychosocial risks related to the work environment, equipment and hazardous tasks (see Table 3).
22.214.171.124 Signs of Exposure to Psychosocial Risk
The organization should enable workers to identify signs of exposure to psychosocial risks.
Examples at an individual and/or group level can include:
a) changes in behaviour;
b) social isolation or withdrawal, refusing offers of help, or neglecting personal well-being needs;
c) increased absence from work or coming to work when ill;
d) lack of engagement;
e) reduced energy;
f) high staff turnover;
g) low-quality performance or failure to complete tasks/assignments on time;
h) reduced desire to work with others;
i) conflicts, lack of willingness to co-operate, and bullying,
j) increased frequency of incidents or errors.
8.1.3 Management of Change
Organizational and work-related changes can influence psychosocial risks or create additional psychosocial risks. The organization should establish, implement and maintain a process(es) for communication and control of changes that can impact health, safety, and well-being at work, including:
a) changes to the organization’s objectives, activities, work processes, and leadership (e.g., workplace locations and surroundings; equipment and resources; workforce and terms of employment);
b) changes to work for tasks and organization (e.g., shift patterns, workflow, reporting lines) and working conditions;
c) changes to legal requirements and other requirements;
d) changes in knowledge or information about psychosocial hazards and risks;
e) developments in knowledge and technology, and the need to improve competence through additional training;
The organization should involve workers and worker representatives, where they exist, at an early stage of the change process and throughout the process, particularly during restructuring.
8.1.4 Procurement, Contracting, and Outsourcing
Procurement of products and services and the contracting for and outsourcing of activities can affect existing psychosocial risks and create new risks or new opportunities. Organizations should establish, implement and maintain a process(es) to control psychosocial risks arising from exposure to hazards related to procurement, contracting, and outsourcing, which takes into account:
a) how the procurement of products and services creates these risks (e.g., through the presence of visitors in the workplace or the scheduling of the delivery of products and services impacting the organization’s work schedules and workers’ workloads, performance, and training needs);
b) how the engagement of contractors can impact workplace culture, worker roles, and expectations;
c) how the outsourcing of activities impacts schedules, workloads, changes in work tasks, job security, supervision, or the quality of work
d) how the shared duty to protect and promote the health, safety, and well-being of workers is managed by the organization, its contractors and suppliers, and other interested parties.
8.2 Emergency Preparedness and Response
The organization should take into account that emergencies in the workplace can present psychosocial risks (e.g., trauma, threats to life). Exposure to psychosocial risks can also create emergencies (e.g., violence, threats) for other workers and interested parties.
To ensure health, safety, and well-being at work and manage psychosocial risk in the event of an emergency (e.g., natural disaster, emerging infectious diseases, the suicide of a colleague, incidents, crises, terror, threats, robbery, dismissals, shut-downs, fire), the organization should:
a) recognize that a wide range of emergencies can impact psychological health, safety, and well-being;
b) prepare for the inclusion of appropriate care in the planned response to emergencies;
c) establish priorities when responding to the needs of workers and other interested parties as appropriate;
d) use competent workers, emergency services, or other appropriate specialists to respond to the emergency and seek additional advice and support.
8.3 Rehabilitation and Return to Work
The organization should design and implement appropriate rehabilitation and return-to-work programs.
Rehabilitation and return-to-work programmes aim to provide practical support to workers facing the negative impact of exposure to psychosocial hazards, including those where this has resulted in absence from work. When designing these programmes, the organization should take into account that workers can be at a high potential for exposure to psychosocial risks as part of the return to work process. For example, work adjustments to facilitate return to work can result in changes to work tasks, relationships and social interaction, supervision, work culture, and perceptions of achievement and value at work. The potential for increased exposure to psychosocial risks applies to workers who are returning to work regardless of the reason for their absence.
An early and supportive response to negatively affected workers is essential. The organizations can encourage early reporting of issues by demonstrating a commitment to maintaining confidentiality and providing a supportive, respectful work environment (see Clause 5).
It should consistently manage the potential for exposure to psychosocial risks during return to work with how all psychosocial risks should be prevented and controlled.
Examples of measures to improve rehabilitation and return to work include:
a) providing access to, or information about, general, occupational health services, whether internal or external to the organization;
b) providing access to, or information about, confidential debriefing, counselling services, conflict mediation services, and access to relevant assessment(s), etc.
c) talking with an affected worker to understand and plan for reasonable work adjustments to support the return to work;
d) ensuring workers with management roles are competent to manage the impact of exposure to psychosocial hazards and understand applicable legal requirements and other requirements as the workforce return to work;
e) regularly monitoring rehabilitation and return to work programmes to establish if there are new or previously unidentified risks;
f) consulting with other relevant interested parties, including occupational health professionals, in managing the return to work process regarding progress and necessary changes to the return to work programme.
9 Performance Evaluation
9.1 Monitoring, Measurement and Performance Evaluation
9.1.1 An enterprise should develop and implement a systematic approach for analysing and measuring activities associated with managing psychosocial risk and the OH&S management system’s performance.
Performance monitoring and measurement should:
a) determine the extent to which the policy is complied with, and objectives are met;
b) offer data on activities related to psychological health and safety in the workplace, understanding the importance of confidentiality of personal information;
c) determine if the procedures for psychosocial hazard identification and assessment of risk are in place and controls are operating effectively (e.g., taking into account signs of worker exposure to psychosocial risk as set out in 126.96.36.199);
d) provide the basis for decisions about improvements related to health, safety, and well-being at work;
e) determine the extent to which the organization has fulfilled legal requirements and other requirements;
f) provide information on the OH&S management system’s performance in managing psychosocial risks.
The organization should develop appropriate qualitative and quantitative measures in consultation and with the participation of workers and, where they exist, their representatives.
9.1.2 The organization should maintain, monitor, review, and revise the control measures for psychosocial risks to ensure they remain effective. Reviews should occur:
a) if a new hazard or risk is identified;
b) if a control measure is not adequate to minimize the risk;
c) before a significant workplace change occurs (e.g., a shift in the work environment or work systems);
d) where consultation indicates a review is necessary or workers or worker representatives request a review.
The organization should retain appropriate documented information as evidence of monitoring, measurement, and performance evaluation results.
The organization should establish key performance indicators and collect and analyse relevant data. Leading indicators allow for the prediction of future performance and should be used in addition to lagging indicators that indicate improvement against past performance.
9.2 Internal Audit
The organisation should:
a) conduct internal audits at planned intervals, including consideration of psychosocial risks.
b) use the findings to assess the effectiveness of the management of psychosocial risks.
c) identify gaps in performance to identify opportunities to improve psychosocial risk management continually.
9.3 Management Review
9.3.1 Management review ensures that top management remains informed on psychosocial risk performance regularly and the extent to which the organization has met its policy and objectives for managing psychosocial risks. The results from monitoring and measuring provide the basis for analysis during the management review process. They are used to evaluate its activities’ overall adequacy, suitability, and effectiveness in managing psychosocial risk.
Evidence-based decision-making is key for continually improving the effectiveness of the OH&S management system.
Top management should:
a) review the organization’s management of psychosocial risk at planned intervals.
b) use the results from the analysis and evaluation during the management review process.
c) evaluate the overall adequacy, suitability, and effectiveness of its activities to manage psychosocial risk.
d) assess opportunities for improvement and the need for changes and use the results of the management review as the basis for continual improvement activities.
e) retain documented information of the management reviews.
9.3.2 Input to management reviews relating to psychosocial risk should include:
a) results of audits and evaluations of compliance with applicable legal requirements and with other requirements to which the organization subscribes.
b) the results of participation and consultation.
c) the psychosocial risk performance of the organisation.
d) OH&S data and other data (e.g., support services, disability plans, compensation schemes).
e) the status of incident investigations and corrective actions are taken to prevent psychosocial risks to workers.
Top management should communicate relevant results of the management review about the psychosocial risk to workers and other interested parties, as appropriate.
As it implements actions to continually improve the OH&S management system and performance regarding psychosocial risk, the organization should take into account the outcome of:
a) performance evaluations.
b) incident reports.
c) consultation with and recommendations from workers and, where they exist, worker representatives.
e) management reviews.
The organization should evaluate the effectiveness of improvement actions.
10.2 Incident, nonconformity, and corrective action
The organisation should:
a) have a process to address nonconformities and incidents related to psychosocial risk.
b) consider developing a specific process to investigate nonconformities and incidents given the sensitive nature of incidents that impact psychological health, safety, and well-being at work.
c) define processes for the reporting of nonconformity and incidents that maintain confidentiality and provide for a timely response to reports.
d) encourage and support reporting to reduce fear of reprisals.
e) use information gained from investigations and recommendations for corrective actions to identify opportunities for improvement.
NOTE: Nonconformity occurs whenever there is an actual or potential lack of conformity to the requirements of the organization’s OH&S management system. An incident occurs whenever a worker has a solid, or potential for, injury (injuries), or ill health.
10.3 Continual improvement
The organization should:
a) research and gather relevant information on the opportunities for improvement in the management of psychosocial risks, fulfilment of its legal and other requirements, and achievement of its OH&S objectives as part of its continual improvement process.
b) assess opportunities to implement changes and prioritize those with the most significant potential for improving psychological health, safety, and well-being in the workplace.
The organisation should identify hazards of a psychosocial nature.
These may consist of:
a) elements of how work is organised (see Table 1 for examples);
b) social dynamics at work (see Table 2 for illustrations);
c) the workplace, the tools, and risky tasks (see Table 3 for examples).
Contribution of ISO 45003 to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability-focused organisations increasingly integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into their corporate strategies (SDGs). A Company’s commitment to ensuring good working conditions, health, and well-being is demonstrated by ISO 45003.
Implementing ISO 45003 and aligning it with the SDGs is a powerful way for enterprises striving to improve their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) profile and demonstrate to shareholders, stakeholders, and employees that they genuinely care about their staff.
Benefits of ISO 4003 Standard Implementation
A framework for managing psychological health and safety can help create a positive work environment, improve organisational resilience, and boost performance and productivity.
Here are the key advantages:
- High levels of independent effort.
- Improved retention, diversity, and recruitment.
- Improved employee engagement Enhanced innovation.
- Improved Legal Compliance.
- Reduction in skipping work due to stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression.
Who shall opt for ISO 45003 Standard?
ISO 45003 is a voluntary standard without legal obligation to adopt it. However, assuming the standard is likely to help you to comply with obligations under work, health, and safety legislation. All companies, irrespective of their industry, can opt for ISO 45003 Standard and promote positive work environments.
What are the next steps?
• Conduct a gap analysis of your Occupational health and safety management systems and the ability to incorporate ISO 45003 into ISO 45001.
• Awareness training on Psychosocial risks.
• Conduct a risk assessment of your organisation’s psychosocial risks.
• Seek Advice from an Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner or consultant.
• Contact Us.
We will be happy to help!
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