Launch of the ISO working group on “Psychological health and safety in the Workplace - Guideline”

As you may recall, we previously drew your attention to an ISO proposal on a new Technical Committee (TC) on Occupational Health and Safety management.


The Technical Committee (ISO/TC 283) has held its first meeting from 17 to 21 September at Coventry University, UK to discuss items for future work in view of updating the ISO 45001 standard (published in March 2018). 


Alongside a working group to develop an “ISO 45001 implementation guidance handbook for small organizations” (WG3), the plan of work of the TC includes a working group (WG2) on “Psychological health and safety in the workplace” (Link to the proposal via the side panel on the right).


This working group has started drafting a document which is intended to “provide guidance to enable organizations to prevent psychological injury and ill health of their workers and other interested parties”.


Given the increasing importance of this topic for the business agenda as well as the usual lack of balanced representation in ISO meetings, it was important that the employers’ voice be heard in this meeting from the outset. Franck Gambelli (UIMM, France), Kris de Meester (FEB, Belgium) and Dr Olivier Lo (International SOS, Singapore) participated in the working group. The IOE would like to thank them for their commitment. 


While there is quite limited room for manoeuvre since the proposed standard duplicates the structure (table of contents) of ISO 45001 and is building upon its requirements, one of the outcomes achieved was to bring back the word “guideline” in the tittle of WG2 to make it clear that it is not a requirement standard but a voluntary tool.  


The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) as well as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) were represented. It should also be noted that the ILO Office was absent as a result of a decision of the ILO Governing Body to terminate its memorandum of understanding with the ISO and suspend participation in meetings. 


The ISO/TC 283 timelines is as follows:

March 4-8 2019 2nd Working Group (WG) meeting
1 May 2019 Committee draft (CD) to be registered in ISO
Sept./Oct. 2019 WG meeting (CD comments resolution)
Jan./Feb. 2020 WG meeting to produce a Draft International Standard (DIS)
1 March 2020  DIS to be registered in ISO
Sept./Oct. 2020 WG meeting (DIS comments resolution)
Jan./Feb. 2021 WG meeting to finalize FDIS
June/July 2021 Publication of standard


The IOE will continue following and monitoring this working group and will provide information accordingly to its members.


Yours sincerely, 

Pierre Vincensini


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