The new international standard for occupational health and safety may not specifically mention mental health, but it gives organisations a golden opportunity to bake good practice into their systems.
In fact, support for good mental health can play a key part in implementing the standard.
Here are five of the key opportunities in ISO 45001:
Identifying the needs of staff and other interested parties – Good mental health can be identified here as a key factor in the occupational health and safety of a workforce. It could even be included into the overall goal of the occupational health and safety policy, perhaps including a commitment to implementing programmes to improve mental health in an organisation.
Recognising poor workplace mental health as a potential hazard in the workplace – Identifying the hazards or risk which could lead to this is vital, such as stress in certain roles in a fast-paced environment. Potential solutions such as rotating employees through these roles will help mitigate against the hazard.
Creating objectives which set goals for workplace mental health improvement – The standard requires you to pick key areas where you can improve performance, and mental health in the workplace could be one of those. You could create a plan, timescale, and evaluation process for this.
Eliminating risks and hazards – Reducing their impact or removing them completely to support good workplace mental health.
Supporting good mental health while managing change – This is a particularly stressful time for workers, so having clear communication policies and letting staff know what is happening are important.
The benefits to your business of good mental health in the workplace
Improving occupational health and safety doesn’t just reduce potential costs and liabilities from illnesses and injuries.
It also helps to develop a culture of employee satisfaction, making workers more content, happier in their job and their workplace.
Many studies have shown that helps productivity and performance. One University of Oxford study in 2019 found that happy workers are 13% more productive.
How can you start the process?
Training key managers in implementing the new standard is the first step. Health and safety managers, facilities managers, HR professionals, and compliance managers would all benefit from ISO 45001 training.
Learn everything you need to know to transition your organisation to ISO 45001 by sending your manager on our next open course. Check the available dates here.