OHSAS 18001 - (Section 4.3. - Planning)

4.3.3. OH&S Objectives

Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that organisations have documented OH&S objectives for each relevant function and level. The minimum requirement if for one set of objectives which apply to all functions and levels and where this is the case, organisations should base their answers to the questions in sections 3.3.2 and 3.3.3 on this set of objectives.

Verification guidance: In addition to answering the questions in these sections, auditors should assess whether organisations which do not set OH&S objectives for functions and levels are doing so appropriately.


Section 4.3.3.1 OH&S Objectives - Written Procedure

Is there a written procedure dealing with OH&S objectives?


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that organisations have documented OH&S objectives and how this requirement will be met should be the subject of a written procedure. This question tests whether such a procedure exits, its adequacy is tested by the other questions in this section.

Verification guidance: Answer "Yes" to this question if there is a document which purports to be the organisation's OH&S objectives procedure. The adequacy of the written procedure is tested by the other questions in this section of the evaluation.


Question 4.3.3.1.1

Is the allocation of OH&S objectives to functions dealt with adequately in the written procedure on OH&S objectives?


Guidance: Typical functions include manufacturing, transport, maintenance and administration. Organisations must give consideration to the need for separate OH&S objectives for individual functions.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if the allocation of OH&S objectives to functions is not dealt with in the written procedure on OH&S objectives, OR the statement on the allocation of OH&S objectives to functions is inadequate in any way.


Question 4.3.3.1.2

Is the allocation of OH&S objectives to levels dealt with adequately in the written procedure on OH&S objectives?


Guidance: Typical levels include top management, middle management, first line management and operatives. Organisations must give consideration to the need for separate OH&S objectives for individual levels.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if the allocation of OH&S objectives to levels is not dealt with in the written procedure on OH&S objectives, OR the statement on the allocation of OH&S objectives to levels is inadequate in any way.


Question 4.3.3.1.3

Is the quantification of OH&S objectives dealt with adequately in the written procedure on OH&S objectives


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that OH&S objectives should be quantified where practicable. For example the objective should be a percentage increase in audit scores, not just an increase in audit scores. Quantifying OH&S objectives may require creative thought, particularly for objectives such as "improve the quality of OH&S training". However, it is possible to devise appropriate measures which allow for quantified objectives.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if the quantification of OH&S objectives is not dealt with in the written procedure on OH&S objectives, OR the statement on quantification of OH&S objectives is inadequate in any way.


Section 4.3.3.2 Objectives for Functions - Implementation


Question 4.3.3.2.1

Is there an adequate written specification of the functions within the organisation which will have separate OH&S objectives?


Guidance: Organisationsmust give consideration to the need for separate OH&S objectives for individual functions. Each function must be identified and recorded with a statement on whether it will have its own OH&S objectives.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no written specification of the functions, OR the specification of functions is inadequate, OR there is no statement for one or more functions on whether it will have separate OH&S objectives.


Question 4.3.3.2.2

Do all relevant functions have written OH&S objectives?


Guidance: Functions which might require separate OH&S objectives include those managing high levels of risk, those whose risks are such that they pose a major threat to the continuing function of the organisation, and those managing risks which do not occur elsewhere in the organisation. Organisations should consider each function in turn, decide whether separate OH&S objectives are appropriate, and record the results of these decisions.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if, given the nature of the organisation and its activities, one or more functions which should have separate OH&S objectives does not have such objectives.


Section 4.3.3.3 Objectives for Levels - Implementation


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that organisations have documented OH&S objectives for each relevant function and level. The minimum requirement if for one set of objectives which apply to all functions and levels and where this is the case, the questions in this section should be answered on the basis of this set of OH&S objectives.


Question 4.3.3.3.1

Is there an adequate written specification of the levels within the organisation which will have separate OH&S objectives?


Guidance: Organisationsmust give consideration to the need for separate OH&S objectives for individual levels within the organisation. Each level must be identified and recorded with a statement on whether it will have its own OH&S objectives.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no written specification of the levels, OR the specification of levels is inadequate, OR there is no statement for one or more levels on whether it will have separate OH&S objectives.


Question 4.3.3.3.2

Do all relevant levels have written OH&S objectives?


Guidance: Levels which commonly require separate OH&S objectives include top management and first line management. Organisations should consider each level in turn, decide whether separate OH&S objectives are appropriate, and record the results of these decisions.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if, given the nature of the organisation and its activities, one or more levels which should have separate OH&S objectives does not have such objectives.


Question 4.3.3.3.3

Are all of the OH&S objectives at all levels quantified where practicable?


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that OH&S objectives should be quantified where practicable. For example the objective should be a percentage increase in audit scores, not just an increase in audit scores. Quantifying OH&S objectives may require creative thought, particularly for objectives such as improve the quality of OH&S training. However, it is possible to devise appropriate measures which allow for quantified objectives.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if one or more of the OH&S objectives is not quantified when it would have been practicable to produce a quantified version.