When you are creating an Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OH&SMS) it is a necessity to document the roles and responsibilities of your management system. OHSAS 45001 highlights this as shown primarily in the requirements of clause 4.4.1. So, what roles and responsibilities do you need to identify and how should you do this? Here are some ideas about what to do.
About Roles and responsibilities need to be identified per OHSAS 18001?
First, you need to identify what roles and responsibilities you need to define.
1) To facilitate effective OH&SMS:
This is enclosed as how for management to point out their commitment to the OH&SMS. Your management needs to identify the roles, responsibilities, accountabilities and authorities that are needed for your particular organization. This means you need to consider your unique processes and the OH&S requirements around those processes. So, need to decide what roles and responsibilities are necessary to make these processes effective. For instance, if you need to deal with hazardous waste, who are the employees with the roles and responsibilities to make sure this is managed correctly
2) Management representative :
There is some particular requirement for a top manager to be designated as the management representative for the standard. This manager has some responsibilities to ensure the OH&SMS is established, implemented and maintained. He or she additionally ensures that the performance of the OH&SMS is reportable to top management. A management representative (for example: in a large organization, a member of the administrative or executive board) can delegate some of their assignments to subordinate management, but with the preservation of authority.
3) Manager responsibilities :
All people in the company with management responsibility are expected to be committed to the continual improvement of the OH&SMS.
4) Employee responsibility :
It is expected that everyone in the organization is responsible to adhere to the company rules and properly perform the duties under their control.
So, asyou’ll see abundant of the decision-making concerning what roles and responsibilities exist in your unique company.
How do you document your OH&SMS ( ISO 45001) roles and responsibilities?
This question is one that has many right answers, and how you choose to document these roles and responsibilities will depend on your individual situation. However, here are a few methods to consider when making your decision. You may choose one or several ways to document this important OH&S information:
- Have one roles & responsibilities document :
This is one way to satisfy this requirement. You can create a document that lists out all of the roles and responsibilities for your OHS&MS, including the person or persons responsible for each. For a smaller organization this can be ideal, but remember that if you have a routine turnover in people who fulfill these roles, then updating this document can be time-consuming. Because of this, it is often better to identify the management position responsible rather than the individual. This can also be a good way to identify the top level roles and responsibilities that will change very rarely.
- Include roles and responsibilities in your process documentation :
I am a big believer that this one of the best ways to ensure employees know what their roles and responsibilities are within their process is to have a documented procedure for the process. A documented procedure tells the people who perform this process what their roles and responsibilities for the process are, so why not include the OH&S responsibilities as well? For instance, if you have a procedure for operating a machine which includes all of the parameters that need to be maintained for the quality of the product, include safe operating instructions in this procedure as well.
- Include roles and responsibilities in training material :
If you do not have a documented procedure, then training is where you are instructing the employees on how to perform their processes. Including the OH&S information within this training just makes sense. This way, when the training is completed, your employees will know not only how to perform the operations, but how to do so safely.
As I said, there is no one right way to do this, so find a way (or two, if that makes sense for you) that your organization can not only identify the roles and responsibilities, but to also ensure they are documented and communicated for those who need to know them.
Ensuring everyone knows who should do what
The key to ensuring that your OH&SMS operates properly is to first identify what roles and responsibilities are needed for your unique implementation. You then must ensure that everyone who needs to perform tasks within your organization knows the OH&S roles and responsibilities associated with those tasks. Also, you should not forget that an organization must, as one of the essentials within the OH&S program, determine the responsibilities and authorities to achieve goals for the appropriate functions and levels within the organization. How you choose to document is not as important as how you will ensure that the information is adequately communicated to the right people. Communication means everyone knows what they must do at the right time and, if some activity is not their role, they need to know what to do. Planning and communication is the key to ensuring successful completion of OH&SMS roles and responsibilities.
What ISO 45001 training and certification is available if you’re an individual?
Training in the concepts of ISO 45001 is available, and there are a range of course options for individuals to choose from. Only the first of these can lead to certification for the individual to be able to audit for a certification body, but the others are very useful for those who will be using these skills within their own company:
ISO 45001 Lead Auditor Course – This is a four- to five-day training course focused on understanding the ISO 45001 QMS standard and being able to use it for auditing management systems against these requirements. The course includes a test at the end to verify knowledge and competence, and it is only with an accredited course that an individual can become approved to audit for a certification body.
ISO 45001 Internal Auditor Course – This is commonly a two- or three-day course that is based on the lead auditor course above, but does not include the test for competence, so this is most useful for someone beginning to do internal audits within a company.
ISO 45001 Awareness and Implementation Course – Several courses are offered that provide knowledge of ISO 45001 and how to implement it. These can be one- or two-day courses, and can even include online e-learning sessions as a method of teaching the material. These courses are good for those who need an overview of the ISO 45001 standard, or those who will be involved in the implementation within a company, and many are more economical than investing in the lead auditor course for those involved at this level.
There are a number of accredited training organizations around the world where you can gain individual qualifications in ISO 45001.
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