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People at the heart of new BS ISO 27500 Standard

31 August 2016

September 1 marks the formal launch of a new British and International Standard that prioritises employee well-being and safety.

BS ISO 27500, developed with input from the British Standards Institution's (BSI) ergonomics standards committee and co-authored by the committee’s chair, Tom Stewart - a past president of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF), incorporates a wealth of ergonomics and human factors knowledge and techniques to help businesses achieve a ‘human-centred organisation’ and act in socially responsible ways.

The Standard sets out the core principles that are the key business benefits of a human-centred organisation, including enhanced health and safety, and improved workforce effectiveness and efficiency as a result of unifying the organisation in working towards a common goal. By taking this approach, staff will have greater confidence and trust in the organisation they are employed by, and will be more likely to feel motivated - helping to reduce staff turnover and build a stronger workforce.

Tom Stewart, a past president of the CIEHF and deputy chair of the Council for Work and Health, said: “Human well-being is now widely recognised as an important economic measure to complement traditional measures of national output. Increasingly, organisations are not just expected to make a profit but also to take their responsibility to society very seriously. The two go hand-in-hand and companies that take social responsibility and strive to achieve this new Standard will motivate employees, maximising their potential. As a result businesses will benefit from reduced staff turnover and increased customer focus.”

BS ISO 27500 is directly aimed at executive board members and senior management, reiterating that human-centred change needs to be recognised from the top, and led by example. Having a board level champion for health, safety and well-being, and providing suitable training and a system rewarding staff, demonstrates that the organisation cares for its team, recognising their efforts and supporting their progression.

In addition to the launch, there will be a half day event at BSI’s headquarters in Chiswick, organised by the BSI and the CIEHF. The event will explore key practical actions that organisations can take to become truly human-centred and achieve real business benefits.

For further information, visit www.ergonomics.org.uk