In 2017 – 2018 over half a million employees suffered an injury whilst at work – 147 of those were fatal.
In that period, over 30 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and injuries with organisations spending £15 billion on sick pay and other associated costs. This not only indicates the scale of suffering experienced by workers, it also demonstrates the challenges for business.
What’s notable about these statistics – apart from the sheer size of the problem – is how much of the challenge relates to psychological wellbeing. Increasingly, absence and productivity are influenced by non-physical issues, like stress.
For many years, organisations have focussed on physical injuries and have not considered or understood the importance of the mental wellbeing of their workforce. In some working environments such as the prison service, call centres and other service-related roles, this is a particular area of concern.
Whilst occupational health and safety management systems such as ISO 45001 (and OHSAS 18001 before that) have proven invaluable to employers in addressing physical welfare issues – and indeed had a remarkable positive impact on safety at work – until now, there has been no standardised way to approach wellbeing in a more rounded, holistic way.
PAS 3002 is the new code of practice to help organisations support both physical and psychological health of their workforce. It considers how health and wellbeing should be incorporated into the working environment and how effective leadership can also play its part. Most significantly, this new code of practice also highlights the importance of mental health. According to Mind (the mental health charity) approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems each year. So, it’s essential that the right conditions are implemented in a workplace to ensure that stress is reduced, and mental well-being is fully supported.
“PAS 3002 is the perfect vehicle for helping to reduce sickness and stress related absences. It also brings the very topical issue of mental health into the sphere of certification, which has been overlooked until now. Adopting PAS 3002 demonstrates that you are a thoroughly modern organisation which values employees. It also complements ISO 45001 extremely well, creating a comprehensive health, safety and wellbeing system.
Even better, if you’re already certified to ISO 45001, your certification body should be able to audit both systems together for added efficiency.”
Steve Stubley, Technical Director, Alcumus ISOQAR
Your people are your most valuable asset and with the introduction of ISO 45001 and PAS 3002, organisations’ eyes are now being opened to the importance of having a happy and healthy workforce.