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EMCOR UK first organisation to be certified against BSI’s new psychological health and safety scheme

EMCOR UK has become the first organisation globally to be certified against BSI’s new scheme which is based on the international standard ISO 45003 – the first global standard providing practical guidance on managing psychological health and safety in the workplace.

The new international standard – ISO 45003: 2021 Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work — Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks – which was published earlier this year, gives guidance for managing psychosocial risks and provides recommendations to organisations on how to prevent work-related psychological ill health.

The certification scheme, developed by BSI, will review the impact of an occupational health and safety management system and how it covers not only physical health and safety but also psychological health by managing psychosocial risks, which can give rise to physical, mental, cognitive and emotional harm.

Kate Field, Global Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, BSI said:“Mental ill-health at work resulted in 38.8 million days lost in 2019/20 and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will only have exacerbated the issue. The health, safety and wellbeing of workers is of paramount importance when looking at the effectiveness, efficiency and long-term resilience of organisations.

ISO 45003 supports organisations to understand the issues, develop new, organisational level approaches and proactively manage the risks in the short and longer-term. Supporting psychological health and safety at work has never been more important with stress, burnout, anxiety and depression costing economies billions from reduced productivity, long-term sickness absence and its related costs.”

Speaking about the certification, Keith Chanter, CEO of EMCOR UK, said: “We are delighted to be the first organisation globally to have been certified against this highly relevant psychological health and safety scheme as it demonstrates our absolute commitment to building an organisational culture that fosters a safe and positive working environment in which all our colleagues can thrive. Our purpose is to create a better world at work and a key element is our responsibility, as employers, to protect and promote the physical and psychological health of our colleagues.”

Hayley Farrell, Wellbeing Manager for EMCOR UK, commented: “We recognise the critical importance of supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace and in January we launched our Mental Health Charter to encourage colleagues to discuss mental health. Our long-term wellbeing strategy takes a proactive and sustainable approach to employee health and this outstanding achievement reflects the robust structure we have in place to identify and manage mental health risks and our drive to create parity between mental and physical safety.”

Hannah Clark, Client Manager for BSI, added:“One of the really positive things about this job is being able to work closely with clients where the passion for the subject matter shines. This was very much the case with EMCOR UK and their approach to psychosocial risk management. The audit demonstrated an effective and systematic approach to the management of psychosocial risk, with feedback received from the staff highlighting the presence of a supportive, inclusive environment where staff can not only grow and develop, but also feel safe in discussing their personal and professional issues.”

The ISO committee, made up of experts from 40 countries, developed this international standard to be practical and easy to understand for every organisation. ISO 45003 is written to help organisations using an occupational health and safety management system, based on ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety, but is also useful for organisations that haven’t yet implemented an occupational health and safety management system. It is applicable to organisations of all sizes and in all sectors for the development, implementation, maintenance and continual improvement of healthy and safe workplaces.

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