Top Management and Leadership within ISO 45001
Top Management and Leadership within ISO 45001, what does this mean / require?
ISO 45001 places greater emphasis on management’s ownership and commitment to the organisation’s OH&S, it is central to the standard’s effectiveness and integration.
Unlike OHSAS 18001, that delegated responsibility to safety personnel, ISO 45001 requires the incorporation of health and safety in the overall management system of an organisation, driving top management to have a stronger leadership role in the safety and health program.
Under ISO 45001 top management are required to demonstrate that they engage in key OH&S management system activities within the organisation.
This requirement includes the active development, leading and promoting a culture of safety at work, and protecting workers from reprisals when reporting incidents. Top management will have to demonstrate involvement rather than delegation, and top management should be seen by all workers as being actively involved and demonstrating their commitment.
There is a greater focus on top management to ensure that there is consultation and participation of workers (formal and informal) in the development, planning, implementation and continual improvement of the OH&S management system.
With ISO 45001, the safety culture of the organisation must be supported through the engagement of management with workers and demonstrated through a top-down emphasis. Instead of providing oversight of the program, management a required to be true safety leaders. Protection of workers, as well as performance improvements, are roles of leadership under the new ISO 45001.
Top management have the responsibility to ensure that the importance of effective OH&S management is communicated and understood by all parties and ensuring that the OH&S management system can achieve intended outcomes. This can include:
- Ensuring alignment of the OH&S management system with the organization’s business objectives
- Ensuring necessary resources are available
- Encouraging workers (other interested parties) to get actively involved in improving OH&S performance
- Involving everyone in OH&S decision making, promoting open discussions
- Clearly communicating that improvement and not blame is the objective
Clear and consistent Leadership is required. OH&S management is everyone’s business; it involves everyone, from the highest level down throughout the organization, including temporary as well as permanent workers, visitors and neighbours. It also has to be across all areas of the organization, departments and divisions, to ensure the development of collaborative and engaging relationships.