ISO 45001 LEADERSHIP AND WORKER PARTICIPATION: HOW CLAUSE 5 CHANGES THE ROLES OF MANAGERS AND WORKERS
Clause 5 of the ISO 45001:2018 standard is an important one, and it is telling that its title puts Leadership and Worker Participation on an equal footing. It sets out new expectations of both your organization’s leadership – its senior managers – and its workers. These include employees and managers, but also any contractors performing work under the control of the organization. On the one hand, top management is expected to be more involved in creating and reviewing procedures, while on the other employees are expected to show greater awareness and participation.
THE ROLE OF MANAGEMENT
This clause requires that leadership – that is to say senior management – demonstrate a clear commitment to matters of health and safety. Management has overall responsibility and accountability for the protection of workers, and is in charge of integrating the Occupational Health and Safety Management System processes and requirements into your organization’s business processes. Responsibility for specific parts of the system can be assigned to employees but, ultimately, senior management remains responsible for the operation of the OH&S management system. Communication of OH&S policy also falls within the remit of top management. It is their job to communicate decisions and processes within the organization and among interested parties – both internal and external.
THE ROLE OF WORKERS
The reinforced role of workers is perhaps the most significant concept of ISO 45001. It requires that they participate in, and are consulted on the management system, making them a crucial factor in its success. The standard places particular emphasis on the processes by which workers, including those in top management, managerial and non-managerial positions, can take part in determining possible risks.
As well as hazard determination, workers should be consulted on incident investigation and the development and review of OH&S policies and objectives. There must also be appropriate consultation with contractors when there are changes that affect their OH&S.
How can you consult workers? A variety of methods exist: you might, for example, choose to create a representative team and include participants ranging from OH&S administrators and managers, top management and employee representatives to union members. A diverse forum will not only ensure different points of view are represented but also allow members to provide a communications channel with their respective teams, ensuring that information and ideas travel in both directions and that hazards and risks are identified at all levels of the organization.
MIGRATION TO ISO 45001:2018
From the publication of the standard (March 12, 2018), organizations already certified to OHSAS 18001 have three years to migration to ISO 45001 (until September 30, 2021). It will take most organizations around one year to migrate fully; and since ISO 45001 requires both senior management leadership and employee consultation, it is wise to begin as soon as possible.
Bureau Veritas is a world leader in certification. Building on our auditing and training experience, Bureau Veritas is providing a range of e-learning courses and IRCA trainings to support your organization in migration to ISO 45001 smoothly and with minimal fuss.