Workplace occupational health and safety has always been important but even more so in the current global pandemic. With lockdowns across the globe being eased and more people being allowed to go back to work, organisations need to ensure more than ever that every precaution is put in place to protect their employees’ health and safety.
Workplace occupational health and safety has seen a shift since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Offices now have to include the promotion of social distancing, the wearing of masks and good hygiene practices into their OH&S plans. To ensure the safety of their employees’ businesses also need to ensure that employees are not brought back before it is safe to do so.
It is for this reason that adhering to ISO 45001 – Occupational health and safety management systems is even more critical. This international standard contains globally agreed good practice and provides useful guidance and a framework to reduce work-related risks. This standard, therefore, helps to promote the protection of employees health as well as increase safety at work.
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However, business leaders also need to remember that workplace health is not limited to physical health and well-being but also include the mental health of their employees. This period of lockdown has brought about substantial mental health issues for many people. This is due to the immense amount of stress and fear that has been induced during this pandemic. Depression has also increased throughout the lockdown; therefore, it is essential for employers to keep in mind and assess the psychological well-being of all its employees.
The future ISO 45003 – Occupational health and safety management – Psychological health and safety in the workplace – Guidelines will be introduced to address these issues. This standard will provide guidance on the requirements of ISO 45001 in regard to managing the mental health of employees as well the safety risks within an occupational health and safety management risks. This standard is expected to be published in 2021.
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