by | Mar 22, 2024

The Benefits of International Standards of Workplace Wellbeing 

The Benefits of International Standards of Workplace Wellbeing

Understanding International Standards of Workplace Wellbeing

There’s an increasing emphasis on workplace health and safety that encompasses both physical wellbeing, as well as psychological wellbeing. In this episode of our Re Engaged @ Work podcast, we sit down with Kate Field, the Global Head of Human and Social Sustainability at the British Standards Institution (BSI), who takes us on a journey to explore ISO 45003 and its profound impact on organisational health. 

The significance of ISO 45003 

The introduction of ISO 45003 has been revolutionary for companies aiming to excel in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals. This standard becomes more than just a compliance checklist; it is a call to action for organisations to cultivate a genuine culture of wellbeing for their employees. Kate’s insights shed light on the historical context of mental health legislation in the workplace, dating back to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974. She reveals how regulations have evolved to increasingly recognise the importance of integrating psychological wellbeing with physical health and safety, which is particularly relevant when you consider statistics like:  

914,000 workers in the UK suffered from work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22. (HSE, 2022)

Key benefits of ISO 45003: 

Enhances CSR and ESG performance: 

  • Aligns with global best practices in corporate governance. 
  • Strengthens company reputation and stakeholder trust. 

Comprehensive approach to health and safety: 

  • Addresses both physical and psychological health risks. 
  • Promotes a holistic view of employee wellbeing. 

The role of ISO 45001 and ISO 45003 

ISO 45001 lays the groundwork for occupational health and safety, while ISO 45003 provides essential guidance for addressing psychosocial hazards. This recognition underscores the vital need for businesses to elevate their commitment to mental health so that it is on par with their commitment to physical health and safety. The podcast delves into these standards, offering a comprehensive understanding of their application. The British Standards Institution (BSI) highlights that adhering to ISO 45001 and ISO 45003 not only ensures compliance but also drives business innovation and excellence. The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) supports this by noting that comprehensive health and safety management can significantly enhance organisational performance, (IOSH Report, 2019). 

The importance of rigorous certification 

Kate connects a healthy workplace culture with business innovation, suggesting that adherence to standards like ISO 45003 can lead to business excellence. In a world where quick fixes and superficial certification processes are all too common, this episode warns against the pitfalls of inadequate accreditation, advocating for a rigorous approach to certification under ISO 45003. This emphasises that a thorough gap assessment is paramount to truly understanding an organisation’s current standing in psychological health and safety.  

The role of BSI 

The British Standards Institution (BSI) plays a pivotal role in creating and implementing these standards. As a historic entity that emerged during the industrial revolution, BSI continues to innovate by addressing modern challenges such as workplace wellbeing. The standards they set forth act as roadmaps to efficiency, offering best practice frameworks that businesses can leverage to optimise their investments in employee wellbeing. The BSI notes that standards like ISO 45003 help organisations navigate the complexities of modern workplace dynamics and foster sustainable business practices. 

Embracing international standards 

Kate’s perspectives serve as a wake-up call to organisations worldwide. Embracing international standards like ISO 45003 is not only about fulfilling legal obligations but also about seizing the opportunity to drive employee engagement, retention, performance and wellbeing. Upon reflection, it’s clear that the journey towards standardisation in workplace mental health is not a solo endeavor. It requires collaboration, education and a steadfast commitment to innovation from workers to top leadership. Businesses that heed the call to integrate ISO 45003 into their operational fabric will not only create healthier work environments but also pave the way for a more sustainable and socially responsible future. 

Key takeaways: 

Collaboration and education:

  • Involve all stakeholders in the journey towards mental health standardisation. 
  • Provide continuous education on the benefits and implementation of ISO 45003.

Commitment to innovation:

  • Regularly update health and safety protocols to meet evolving standards.
  • Invest in innovative solutions for managing workplace wellbeing.

To all business leaders, HR professionals and health and safety practitioners: let this episode be your guide to reimagining the possibilities of workplace wellbeing. Listen, learn and lead the charge towards a healthier, more productive future for everyone in your organisation. 

Tune in wherever you get your podcasts: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and many more… 

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