ISO 45001 – Outline of Clause 5.2 OH&S policy
The Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) of ISO 45001, the Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard was published in late November with the final version to be published in February/March 2018. The final standard will be published with only very minor changes to the FDIS version. This is the sixth in a series of blogs, in which we will describe what the implementing company must do in order to meet the requirement of the draft standard. We will look at clause 5.2: OH&S policy.
Clause 5.2: OH&S policy
The OH&S policy is the mechanism by which top management formally articulates its commitment to OH&S probity.
At a minimum, these commitments are required:
- Provide safe and healthy working conditions for the prevention of work-related injury and ill health which are appropriate to the specific nature of the OH&S risks to which workers and others are exposed;
- Provide a framework for setting the OH&S objectives;
- Include a commitment to fulfil legal and other requirements;
- Include a commitment to eliminate hazards and reduce OH&S risks;
- Include a commitment to continual improvement of the OH&S management system;
- Include a commitment to consultation with and participation of workers, and, where they exist, workers’ representatives.
It is important to share the organization’s commitments with its workers, contractors and others who work on behalf of the organization so that they understand top managements’ expectations and can perform their work in a manner that contributes to meeting these expectations. Making the health and safety policy publicly available, or available on request, provides assurance to interested parties that the organization is doing its part to achieve positive OH&S outcomes.
The policy should take account of:
- The current OH&S circumstances of the organization and what the organization wants to achieve;
- Broader business objectives;
- Opportunities for improving the health and safety of workers.
The OH&S policy should be reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate to the organization.