Psychological health and safety at work: managing psychosocial risks — Guidelines

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About this consultation 

Following the development and publication of ISO 45001: 2918 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, a draft guidance standard on its requirements in respect to Managing psychological health and safety/psychosocial risk within an OHSMS is now available for stakeholder comment.

IOSH, as a Category A Liaison Body to ISO TC 283, will submit feedback comments directly to ISO TC 283 WG2, where we are represented, as well as to the BSI HS/1 Committee for consideration as part of the UK response.


In recognition of the growing need to improve the management of work-related psychosocial risks worldwide, a new work item proposal was agreed by ISO TC 283 and a work group established (WG2), to produce a supporting guidance standard to ISO 45001.

The initial drafting drew on existing work such as BSI / PAS 1010: 2011 Guidance on the management of psychosocial risks in the workplace; CAN/CSA-Z1003-13/BNQ 9700-803/2013 – Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace; Safe Work Australia 2019 – Work-related psychological health and safety – A systematic approach to meeting your duties; and Australian Human Rights Commission 2010 – Workers with mental illness: a practical guide for managers.

This new psychosocial risk standard aims to provide systematic guidelines for employers that will enable them to promote, develop, and continually improve the management of psychosocial risks, contributing to safer and healthier working environments.

The draft guidelines format reflects the ISO high-level structure for management systems, to align to ISO 45001 and covers scope, normative references, terms and definitions and then context of the organisation, leadership and worker participation, planning, support and operation. The document closes with sections on performance evaluation and management review and improvement.

Consultation questions 

We invite IOSH members to send us feedback comments on the draft, using the response template provided by 18 September 2020 – these can be general, technical or editorial. The draft is strictly ISO copyright protected and is only accessible to IOSH members for consultation purposes.

Members need to log into MyIOSH for access to the draft guidelines for review and comment. When using the comment template, please include your name and all the relevant details related to your comment, including clause and paragraph number, why you’re proposing a change and what the suggested change is.

Respondents should note that the overall structure and top-level headings of the standard are now agreed, and no further changes will be made to these. Also that, unfortunately, we’re unable to consider comments submitted after the stated deadline or not on the comment template.

Comments should be sent to consultation@iosh.com.