Mental health problems and stress-related disorders are a major health concern and the biggest overall cause of early death, according to the World Health Organization, which organizes World Mental Health Day each year.
Resulting from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors, depression is often triggered by adverse life events such as unemployment, bereavement or psychological trauma. It can be debilitating for the affected person, who functions poorly at work, at school and in the family.
Some of the root causes of depression are related to living and working conditions. For example, the working environment is a powerful determinant of health and has a significant impact on the employee’s mood. In today’s context of economic globalization, the occupational environment is delivering increasing mental stress, which can lead to job dissatisfaction, reduced work performance, ill health and depression.
Towards a happier workplace
To help businesses and experts design workplaces that encourage employee satisfaction and well-being, ISO has developed several International Standards addressing the issues of ergonomics in the design of work systems.
Implementing a strong occupational health and safety management system is a way organizations reduce accidents and ill health. ISO is also developing an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system standard, ISO 45001, which is intended to enable organizations to manage their OH&S risks and improve their OH&S performance. The implementation of an OH&S management system is a strategic decision for an organization that can be used to support its sustainability initiatives, ensuring people are safer and healthier and increase profitability at the same time.