ISO Show

#83 What is ISO 45003? Part 2


This week Mel and Darren delve into the different factors that can impact on workers Mental Health:

Aspects of how work is organised:

Remote and isolated work

  • Working in locations that are far from home, family, friends and usual support networks
  • Working alone in non-remote locations without social/human interaction
  • Working in private homes

Workload and work pace

  • Work overload or underload
  • High levels of time pressure
  • Continually subject to deadlines
  • Machine pacing
  • High level of repetitive work

Working hours and schedule

  • Lack of variety of work
  • Shift work
  • Inflexible work schedules
  • Unpredictable hours
  • Long or unsociable hours
  • Fragmented work or work that is not meaningful
  • Continual requirements to complete work at short notice

Job security and precarious work

  • Uncertainty regarding work availability, including work without set hours
  • Possibility of redundancy or temporary loss of work with reduced pay
  • Low-paid or insecure employment, including non-standard employment
  • Working in situations that are not properly covered or protected by labour law or social protection

Social Factors at work:

Interpersonal relationships

  • Poor communication, including poor information sharing
  • Poor relationships between managers or others that workers interact with
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Harassment, bullying, victimization
  • Lack of social support
  • Unequal power relationships between dominant and non-dominant groups of workers
  • Social or physical isolation


  • Lack of clear vision and objectives
  • Management style unsuited to the nature of the work and its demand
  • Failing to listen or only casually listening to complaints and suggestions
  • Withholding information
  • Providing inadequate communication and support
  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of fairness
  • Inconsistent and poor decision-making practices
  • Abuse or misuse of power

Organizational/workgroup culture

  • Poor communication
  • Low levels of support for problem-solving and personal development
  • Lack of definition of, or agreement on, organisational objectives
  • Inconsistent and untimely application of policies and procedures, unfair decision-making
  • Recognition and reward
  • Imbalance between workers’ effort and formal and informal recognition and reward
  • Lack of appropriate acknowledgement and appreciation of workers’ efforts in a fair and timely manner

Career development

  • Career stagnation and uncertainty, under-promotion or over-promotion, lack of opportunity for skill development


  • Lack of support from supervisors and co-workers
  • Lack of access to support services
  • Lack of information/training to support work performance


  • Lack of constructive performance feedback and evaluation processes
  • Lack of encouragement/acknowledgement
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of shared organisational vision and clear objectives
  • Lack of support and/or resources to facilitate improvements in performance
  • Lack of fairness
  • Misuse of digital surveillance

Civility and respect

  • Lack of trust, honesty, respect, civility and fairness
  • Lack of respect and consideration in interactions among workers, as well as with customers, clients and the public

Work/life balance

  • Work tasks, roles, schedules or expectations that cause workers to continue working in their own time
  • Conflicting demands of work and home
  • Work that impacts the workers’ ability to recover

Violence at work

  • Incidents involving an explicit or implicit challenge to health, safety or well-being at work; violence can be internal, external or client initiated, e.g.:
  • Abuse
  • Threats
  • Assault (physical, verbal or sexual)
  • Gender-based violence


Unwanted, offensive, intimidating behaviours (sexual or non-sexual in nature) which relate to one or more specific characteristic of the targeted individual, e.g.

  • Race
  • Gender identity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Age

Bullying and victimization

Repeated (more than once) unreasonable behaviours which can present a risk to health, safety and well-being at work; behaviours can be overt or covert, e.g.

  • Social or physical isolation
  • Assigning meaningless or unfavourable tasks
  • Name-calling, insults and intimidation
  • Undermining behaviour
  • Undue public criticism
  • Withholding information or resources critical for one’s job
  • Malicious rumours or gossiping
  • Assigning impossible deadlines

Work environment, equipment and hazardous tasks

Work environment, equipment and hazardous tasks

  • Inadequate equipment availability, suitability, reliability, maintenance or repair
  • Poor workplace conditions such as lack of space, poor lighting and excessive noise
  • Lack of the necessary tools, equipment or other resources to complete work tasks
  • Working in extreme conditions or situations
  • Working in unstable environments such as conflict zones

How can we identify psychological hazards in our workplaces?

There are several ways that the organization can identify psychosocial hazards, this can include (but not limited to):

  • Through reviews of job descriptions
  • Analysing tasks, schedules and locations
  • Consulting with workers, clients and other interested parties
  • Analysing performance evaluations, standardized questionnaires, audits, etc.

Further Resource:

Download a copy of our ISO 45003 Whitepaper here:

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