In an effort to improve workplace psychological health and safety in Canada, several groups have gotten together to unveil the country’s initial national standard to assist organizations and those who work for them.
Those responsible for releasing the standard are the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the Bureau de normalization du Québec (BNQ), and CSA Group.
Standard Centered on Betting Employee Psychological Health
The National Standard of Canada titled Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Prevention, promotion and guidance to staged implementation is a voluntary standard centered on bettering employees’ psychological health and staving off psychological harm as a result of workplace factors.
According to MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley, “One in five Canadians experience a mental health problem or mental illness in any given year and many of the most at risk individuals are in their early working years. Canadians spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else. It’s time to start thinking about mental well-being in the same way as we consider physical well-being, and the Standard offers the framework needed to help make this happen in the workplace.”
The Standard has in place a systematic approach to develop and sustain a psychologically healthy and safe workplace, including:
- The identification of psychological hazards in the workplace;
- The assessment and control of the risks in the workplace associated with hazards that cannot be eliminated (e.g. stressors due to organizational change or reasonable job demands);
- The implementation of practices that support and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace;
- The growth of a culture that promotes psychological health and safety in the workplace;
- The implementation of measurement and review systems to ensure sustainability.
Businesses Will Differ in Use of Standard
As officials point out, the voluntary Standard is not intended to be adopted into federal, provincial, or territorial legislation.
It can be used in a variety of ways by businesses and organizations of all sizes depending upon their needs. In some cases, businesses may use the Standard as a starting point and center on forming policies and processes to promote mental health, while others may arrive at the conclusion that a number of aspects of the Standard are already in place and use the Standard to build upon their existing efforts.
The Standard has gotten the go-ahead from the Standards Council of Canada as a National Standard of Canada.
It will be free via CSA Group and BNQ websites.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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