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Mental Health in the Workplace – The ISO 45003 and the HSE Perspective

Autumn 2021 is seeing the gradual transition of employees back to the workplace, either full-time or combined with remote working. With many working practices, processes and roles having changed to adapt to workplace guidelines, there will be a significant period of adaptation for many employees. Now, more than ever, consulting with employees and ‘doing things in a compassionate way’ is key to maintaining strong employer/employee relationships, and making sure your business in compliant with government standards, such as ISO45003.

Current Statistics

The Labour Force Survey, run by the Office for National Statistics of around 33,000 households, showed that 828,000 workers suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, and there are 17.9 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.


The ISO 45003 and HSE Perspective

ISO 45003, released in July 2021, is the first worldwide standard for managing mental health in the workplace.

The standard outlines how to identify conditions and circumstances and workplace demands that have the potential to harm the psychological health and wellbeing of workers.

The standard can provide guidelines for all organisations to follow and can be incorporated into your current risk assessment or can be recorded in a separate ‘workplace stress’ risk assessment.

The Health and Safety Executive defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’.  The HSE recommends the following practical steps that can be taken: –

  • Ensure your Health and Safety policy incorporates a section that explains your approach to mental health/wellbeing
  • Ensure your workplace risk assessment incorporates hazards that can cause stress or anxiety, e.g., lone working, hazardous tasks
  • Consider Mental Health First Aid training
  • Provide opportunities for feedback from employees
  • Encourage participation and engagement in well-being programmes and mental health discussions.

Do you need any help in writing or reviewing your employee welfare, mental health and stress risk assessment?  Please contact Armour Risk Consulting for a free consultation at or on 0131 516 1767

Our content is correct at the date of publishing, but should not be taken as legal advice, and our articles don’t replace Risk Assessments. Armour will not be held accountable for any legal actions the reader may take.