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Get Ready for CSA Z1003/BNQ 9700: Canada’s First National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

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The Canadian Standards Association has just released its much anticipated new Workplace Mental Health & Safety Standard referred to as CSA Z1003/BNQ 9700.  This standard recommends the first National Standard on this topic and is applicable to all sizes and types of workplaces in Canada.  The document was just released November 7th 2012 and refers to the term “psychological health and safety in the workplace”. The standard will have a major practical and legal impacts upon workplace policies.The new Standard will, for the first time, provide organizations with the tools they need to achieve measurable improvement in workplace psychological health and safety including clear, systematic guidelines for preventing psychological/cognitive injury, reducing psychological risk, and promoting a mentally healthier workplace.In addition, the standard also provides employers with a clear basis for establishing an effective due diligence defence against the increasing number of lawsuits by employees who claim their mental/psychological health has been injured by psychologically unsafe environments including harassment and bullying.

It will now be importnat for HR Directors and Managers, OH&S Professionals, Union Reps and Managers & DM Managers and Case Managers to understand how the new standard will affect current HR, OH&S policies and practices. As well the  next steps to take to comply with the new “psychologically safe” workplace requirements  will be critical to learn and to apply to the workplace at all levels of the organization.

Additional material which makes the whole area of mental and psychological health understandable was released last year by Carswell by the Author JE Sleeth with Optimal Performance Consultants. This publication is the perfect companion piece to the CSA Standard as it helps explain to all levels of organization what Psychological and Mental Health are; what some of the causes of mental and psychological illness are both in and outside of the workplace; as well as providing practical and pragmatic solutions for an issue which is front of mind of most business in Canada and the US now.

This Publication entitled; CLV Special Report – Psychological Illness, Mental Health and the Workplace: Canadian Trends and Return to Work Challenges Jane E. Sleeth, Hon. B.P. & H.E.(Kin), B.Sc. P.T., CPT

The CSA Z1003/BNQ 9700 contains the following information;

  • Objectives of the new CSA Z1003 Standard, how the Standard was developed, how the new Standard affects Canadian employers.
  • Detailed provisions of the new Standard. How the Standard will impact your organizations current policies and procedures.
  • Where to begin including what new policies and procedures are required under the new Standard & which sections of the standard to immediately implement to achieve compliance  right away.
  • A review of the basic concepts of psychological safety including definitions of terms the standards goals, and it’s importance to upper management, frontline managers, and employees
  • How the new Standard aligns with current law and other existing psychological safety standards.The emergence of the new Duty of Care in the Canadian legal system and how this new standard helps meet that duty. How the new Standard will help  establish due diligence and increase legal protection against the growing number of lawsuits related to “psychologically unsafe” workplaces
  • The new standard also outlines how to reduce mental & psychological health impairments and disabilities.

Currently the new Standard is voluntary. Having said this the courts and tribunals are awarding increasingly large sums in damages to employees who claim their mental health has been injured in psychologically unsafe environments, including awards for depression, anxiety, PTSD. The CSA Standard coupled with the Carswell Publication on Psychological and Mental Health will help employers to put into place tangible and measurements policies, programs and procedures to move the organization to a psychologically healthier environment.

To learn more and to order these publications go to CSA.Com and Carswell.com or contact us at Optimal Performance Consultants www.optimalperformance.ca

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