ISO 45001:2018, the Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard was published in early March 2018. This is the thirteenth in a series of blogs, in which we describe what the implementing company must do in order to meet the requirement of the standard. We will now look at clause 6.2: OH&S objectives and planning to achieve them.
Clause 6.2: OH&S objectives and planning to achieve them
6.2.1 OH&S Objectives
The organisation should establish objectives in order to maintain and improve the OH&S management system and to achieve continual improvement in its OH&S performance.
When determining its OH&S objectives the organisation must take into account:
- The results of the assessments of risk and opportunities;
- Applicable legal and other requirements;
- The results of consultation with workers and where applicable, their representatives.
OH&S objectives can be integrated with other business objectives such as quality or environment and should be set at relevant functions and levels as defined and decided upon by the organisation.
The OH&S objectives should address both broad corporate OH&S issues and OH&S issues that are specific to individual functions and levels within the organisation.
Because the term “maintain and improve its OH&S management system” is used in this clause, the organisation can set some objectives in order to maintain a certain level of performance and can set other objectives for the purpose of achieving an improvement in its OH&S performance. This means that in the case of the former, once a level of performance has been achieved and no further opportunity for improvement can be identified, the organisation can set an objective that maintains that set level of performance until such time as new opportunities are identified.
The OH&S objectives should be consistent with the OH&S policy and if practicable, be measurable or capable of performance evaluation. Ideally, the objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-oriented (SMART).
Typical examples of OH&S objectives include the following:
- Objectives to increase or reduce a numerical value such as reducing manual handling incidents by 10% or increasing VDU risk assessments by 20%;
- Objectives to introduce controls or eliminate hazards such as the introduction of LEV in a particular process or elimination of a particular hazardous substance from a process;
- Objectives to introduce less hazardous materials in specific products;
- Objectives to increase levels of worker satisfaction in relation to OH&S such as a reduction of workplace stress or an increase in worker participation in and consultation on OH&S issues;
- Objectives to increase awareness or competence in performing work tasks safety;
- Objectives to meet legal requirements prior to their enactment.
The objectives should be monitored, communicated and be updated as appropriate.
The organisation is not required to establish OH&S objectives for every risk and opportunity it determines.
6.2.2 Planning to Achieve OH&S Objectives
In order to achieve the objectives a programme or programmes should be established.
A programme is an action plan for achieving one or all of the OH&S objectives
The programme, at a minimum, should address the following:
- What is to be done;
- What resources (e.g. financial, human, equipment & infrastructure) will be required;
- Who will be responsible;
- When it will be completed;
- How the results will be evaluated, including indicators for monitoring.
The programme should be reviewed at planned intervals, and adjusted as necessary, to ensure that the objectives are achieved. This review can be part of the management review process.
The organisation must maintain and retain documented information on the OH&S objectives and plans to achieve them.