Mexican Official Standard – 035-STPS-2018 Occupational Psychosocial Risk Factors – Identification, Analysis and Prevention

in Sep 12, 2019

The purposes of Mexican Official Standard 035-STPS-2018 (“NOM”) are: (i) To establish the elements necessary to identify, analyze and prevent the psychosocial risk factors, and (ii) to foster a favorable organizational environment in work centers.

Application Area

Throughout Mexico; work centers with:

a) up to fifteen employees, sections 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 8.1 and 8.2 of the NOM shall apply;

b) between sixteen and fifty employees, sections 5.1, 5.2, from 5.4 through 5.8, 7.1, paragraph a), 7.2, from 7.4 through 7.9, and the entire Chapter 8 of the NOM shall apply, and

c) more than 50 employees, sections 5.1, from 5.3 through 5.8, 7.1, paragraph b), from 7.2 through 7.9 and the entire Chapter 8 of the NOM shall apply.

Work centers having a certificate of compliance with NMX-R-025-SCFI-2015 (regarding Labor Equality and Non Discrimination) in force, shall comply with sections: 5.1 paragraph b); 8.1, paragraph b); 8.2 paragraphs a), sub-paragraph 2), e) and g); and 5.7 paragraph d).

Employer’s Obligations

For purposes of this NOM, a psychosocial risk factor shall be understood as any element at work centers generating or causing anxiety, insomnia and serious stress disorders. A favorable organizational environment shall be understood as an environment fostering the sense of belonging of the employees, the proper formation and that there is an accurate definition of liabilities, as well as the proper distribution of work burdens.

5.1 Establish, in writing, implement, keep and distribute at work centers, a psychosocial risk prevention policy including:

a) Prevention of psychosocial risk factors;

b) Prevention of violence at work; and

c) Promotion of a favorable organizational environment.

5.2 Identify and analyze the psychosocial risk factors.

5.3 Identify and analyze the psychosocial risk factors and assess the organizational environment.

5.4 Adopt measures to prevent and control the psychosocial risk factors, foster a favorable organizational environment, as well as to address all practices hindering a favorable organizational environment and all acts of violence at work.

5.5 Identify employees who have suffered any severe traumatic events, and channel them for medical attention.

5.6 Practice any medical examinations and psychological evaluations to employees exposed to violence at work and/or to psychosocial risk factors.

5.7 Distribute and provide information to employees regarding:

a) The psychosocial risks prevention policy;

b) The measures adopted to fight acts of violence at work;

c) Prevention measures and actions, as well as actions to control psychosocial risk factors;

d) Mechanisms to file complaints for any practices that may hinder a favorable organizational environment and denounce any acts of violence at work;

e) Results from identification and analysis of psychosocial risk factors; and

f) Potential health problems due to exposure to psychosocial risk factors

5.8 Keep the records related to:

a) The results of identification and analysis of psychosocial risk factors and, in any event, of the assessment of the organizational environment;

b) The control measures adopted, if necessary; and

c) The names of the employees who were practiced the clinical examinations or assessments.

Employees’ Obligations

6.1 Observe any prevention and control measures regarding the NOM.

6.2 Refrain from carrying out practices that may hinder a favorable organizational environment and acts of violence at work.

6.3 Participate in the identification of the psychosocial risk factors.

6.4 Report any practice that may hinder a favorable organizational environment and denounce any acts of violence at work.

6.5 Notify the employer in writing if a severe traumatic event has been witnessed or suffered.

6.6 Participate in information events by the employer.

6.7 Take the medical examinations and psychological evaluations.

Identification and Analysis

7.1 The Identification and analysis of the psychosocial risk factors, and the organizational environment assessment shall be carried out as follows:

a) Work centers having between 16 and 50 employees shall only identify and analyze the psychosocial risk factors (to be carried out with all the employees); and

b) Centers with more than 50 employees shall identify and analyze the psychosocial risk factors and assess the organizational environment (it is not necessary to carry them out with all the employees).

7.2 Identification and analysis of psychosocial risk factors shall cover the following:

a) the work environment conditions;

b) the work burdens;

c) lack of control regarding work. That is to say, opportunities employees may have to influence and make decisions about performing their activities;

d) working day and shift rotation exceeding the provisions set forth in the Federal Labor Law (“LFT”, acronym in Spanish);

e) interference in the work-family relationship;

f) negative leadership and/or negative relations at work;

g) violence at work understood as:

(i) harassment, psychological harassment (for the purposes of this Standard, sexual harassment is not taken into consideration);

(ii) bullying; and

(iii) mistreatment.

7.3 Assessment of the favorable organizational environment shall include:

(i) the sense of belonging by the employees in the company;

(ii) formation for proper performance of the entrusted tasks;

(iii) exact definition of liabilities of employees;

(iv) proactive participation and communication with the company;

(v) proper distribution of work burdens with regular labor shifts; and

(vi) assessment and recognition of performance

7.4 Work centers may use any method to:

(i) identify and analyze psychosocial risk factors; and

ii) assess the organizational environment, and said method shall contemplate:

a) The application of questionnaires meeting the requirements in sections 7.2 and/or 7.3, as the case may be, and 7.5 of the NOM;

b) The way the questionnaires are to be applied;

c) The manner to assess the questionnaires; and

d) The risk levels and manner to determine them according to the questionnaire results.

7.5 Questionnaires to be used by the employer may be the reference guides II and III of the NOM or meet the requirements set forth in the NOM in the sub-section so referred (7.5).

7.6 Identification and analysis of the psychosocial risk factors and the assessment of the organizational environment shall be integrated to the safety and health diagnosis at work referred to in NOM-030-STPS-2009 or those replacing it.

7.7 The result of the identification and analysis of psychosocial risk factors and the assessment of the organizational environment shall be evidenced in a report that must contain:

(i) data of the verified work center,

(ii) purpose;

(iii) main activities performed at the work center;

(iv) method used according to item 7.4;

(v) results obtained according to item 7.4 paragraph d);

(vi) conclusions;

(vii) recommendations and intervention actions; and

(viii) data of the person responsible for conducting the assessment.

7.8 The result of the identification and analysis of the psychosocial risk factors and the assessment of the organizational environment, shall be available for consultation by the employees and be carried out every two years.

Prevention Measurements and Control Actions

8.1 To prevent any psychosocial risk factors and violence at work, and to promote a favorable organizational environment, work centers shall:

a) Establish any actions to prevent the psychosocial risk factors, fostering: social support, dissemination of information and training;

b) Have available safe and confidential mechanisms to receive claims and complaints, and

c) Perform any actions fostering the sense of belonging; training; exact definition of liabilities; proactive participation and communication among its members; proper distribution of work burdens, with regular labor shifts according to the LFT, and assessment and recognition of performance.

8.2 The actions and programs aimed at preventing the psychosocial risk factors, the promotion of a favorable organizational environment and the prevention of the violence at work, shall consider:

a) the leadership and working relationships;

b) the work burdens;

c) the work control;

d) the social support;

e) balance in the work-family relationship;

f) recognition at work;

g) prevention of violence at work;

h) information and communication provided to employees; and

i) training and coaching provided to employees.

8.3 and 8.4 If development of control actions shall be required, such actions shall be implemented through a program that must include:

(i) The work areas and/or the employees subject to the program;

(ii) the type of actions and the control measures to be adopted;

(iii) the dates scheduled for the performance thereof;

(iv) control of progresses of the program implementation;

(v) assessment after applying the control measures, as the case may be; and

(vi) the person responsible for the execution thereof.

8.5 The type of actions shall be carried out, as applicable, at the following levels:

First level: Actions focused on the organizational level and imply acting to decrease the effects of the psychosocial risk factors, prevent violence at work and foster a favorable organizational environment.

Second level: Actions aimed at a group level and imply acting in the relationship among employees and the company; their performance is focused on the working time, the behavior and the personal interactions are based on providing information to employee, on the sensibilization and on reinforcing the social support.

Third level: Actions are focused at an individual level; that is to say, it is developed when the existence of signs and/or symptoms indicating alteration in health are evident; clinical or therapeutic type interventions are included. These interventions shall be carried out by a physician, psychology or psychiatrist, as the case may be.

Verification Units

The employer shall have the option of contracting a certified and approved verification unit, under the terms of the Federal Law on Metrology and Standardization and the Regulations thereof, to verify the level of compliance with this Standard.

The verification units shall apply the performance criteria set forth in the procedure to assess the conformity, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 10 thereof.

Certified and approved verification units responsible for assessing compliance with this Standard, shall issue a report, which shall include:

a) data of the verified working center;

b) data of the verification unit;

c) data of the report; and

d) the method used to identify and analyze the psychosocial risk factors and the organizational environment.

The reports issued by the verification units shall be valid for two years, provided that the conditions used for the issuance thereof are not modified.

Procedure to Assess Conformity

The procedure applies both to inspection visits developed by the labor authority and to verification visits carried out by the verification units.

The employer shall be considered to comply with the provisions of paragraph 5.1; 5.4; 5.5; 5.6; 5.7; 5.8; 8.3; 8.4 and 8.5 through documentary evidence and to comply with paragraphs 5.2; 5.3; 5.4; 7.1 a) and b); 7.2; 7.3; 7.4; 7.5; 7.6, 7.7; 7.8; 7.9; 8.1 and 8.2 through documentary evidence or interview, as applicable, and according to the inspectors.

Evidence of documentary type or the records referred to in this NOM shall be submitted:

i) in print,

ii) in electronic means, and

iii) shall be kept at least for a year as from the preparation date.

To select the employees who shall take the interview for assessment of conformity, the following criterion shall apply:

Table 1: Sampling by random selection

The verification of compliance with the NOM by the employers corresponds to the Ministry of Labor and Social Provision.

Transitory Sections

The NOM shall be effective as from October 23, 2019. The provision contained in sections 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.8, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, and Chapter 7, shall become effective on October 23, 2020; therefore, through October 23, 2019, all employers must have implemented the psychosocial risks prevention policy at their work center.

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