Leadership, commitment and active support from top management are critical for the success of the OH&S management system and for the achievement of its intended outcomes.
A culture that supports an organization’s OH&S management system is largely determined by top management and is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, managerial practices, perceptions, competencies and patterns of activities that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, its OH&S management system.
Top Management Responsibilities in relation to ISO 45001:2018
Leadership and Commitment
Top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the OH&S management system by:
- taking overall responsibility and accountability for the prevention of work-related injury and ill health, as well as the provision of safe and healthy workplaces and activities;
- ensuring that the OH&S policy and related OH&S objectives are established and are compatible with the strategic direction of the organization;
- ensuring the integration of the OH&S management system requirements into the organization’s business processes;
- ensuring that the resources needed to establish, implement, maintain and improve the OH&S management system are available;
- communicating the importance of effective OH&S management and of conforming to the OH&S management system requirements;
- ensuring that the OH&S management system achieves its intended outcome(s);
- directing and supporting persons to contribute to the effectiveness of the OH&S management system;
- ensuring and promoting continual improvement;
- supporting other relevant management roles to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to their areas of responsibility;
- developing, leading and promoting a culture in the organization that supports the intended outcomes of the OH&S management system;
- protecting workers from reprisals when reporting incidents, hazards, risks and opportunities;
- ensuring the organization establishes and implements a process(es) for consultation and participation of workers;
- supporting the establishment and functioning of health and safety committees
Top management shall establish, implement and maintain an OH&S policy.
Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities
Top management shall ensure that the responsibilities and authorities for relevant roles within the OH&S management system are assigned and communicated at all levels within the organization and maintained as documented information.
Examples of Top management Involvement
The following list provides some actions that may be considered as objective evidence to demonstrate that top management are undertaking effective leadership, commitment and accountability:
- Establishing the organization’s mission, vision and values, considering its context, the needs and expectations of its relevant interested parties, and business objectives.
- Writing the OH&S Policy
- Establishing and documenting the OH&S objectives in line with the strategic/business objectives.
- Discussing OH&S at senior management and board meetings to demonstrate it is entrenched in the organization’s business process.
- Active involvement in the review of the organization’s OH&S, at planned intervals, with minutes including detailed information of who was present, what was discussed, and action points agreed.
- Identifying adequate resources to establish, implement, maintain and improve the OH&S system.
- An organizational chart should be documented identifying the persons responsible for the management of OH&S. Job descriptions should also be defined, documented and signed-off.
- Communicating the status of the OH&S management system (recent success, what needs improvement, lessons learned, etc.) via internal communication platforms, posters, etc.
- Committing senior management to demonstrate leadership with respect to OH&S.
- Ensuring OH&S is a key element of the business’ strategic training plan.
- Creating and maintaining an organizational culture that protects works from reprisals when reporting incidents, hazards, risks and opportunities. Perhaps, institute a reward scheme for effective OH&S performance.
- Reviewing the findings of internal audits to ensure that the OH&S management system achieves its intended outcome.
The above elements provide a general set of practical measures of top management involvement. These will differ from organization to organization depending on size, structure and activities.
If you would like to know more about ISO 45001 and other management system standards, SYSMAC’s team are happy to provide a consultation to discuss your requirements.