OHSAS 18001 - (Section 4.4 - Implementation and Operation)

4.4.1. Structure and Responsibility

Section 4.4.1.1 Structure and Responsibility - Written Procedure

Is there a written procedure describing how the organisation will maintain the structure for OH&S management and allocate responsibility for OH&S management?


Guidance: If OH&S management is to be effective, there must be an appropriate management structure which facilitates communication on OH&S matters and allows for the clear allocation of OH&S responsibilities. Organisations must decide how they will maintain their OH&S management structure, and how they will allocate OH&S responsibilities, and record the relevant details in a written procedure. This question tests whether there is a written procedure, and the adequacy of the procedure is tested by the remainder of the questions in this section.

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


Question 4.4.1.1.1

Is the maintenance of an appropriate management structure dealt with adequately in the written procedure on structure and responsibility?


Guidance: Organisationsmust implement and document an appropriate OH&S management structure, and the documentation must be kept up to date. The written procedure on structure and responsibility should describe how the organisation will maintain an appropriate OH&S management structure and how the record of the OH&S management structure will be kept up to date.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if OH&S management structure is not dealt with in the written procedure on structure and responsibility, OR the statement on structure does not deal with one or more of the issues raised in the guidance to this question, OR the statement on structure is inadequate in any other way.


Question 4.4.1.1.2

Are the methods to be used by managers for demonstrating personal commitment to the continual improvement of OH&S performance dealt with adequately in the written procedure on structure and responsibility?


Guidance: Managers must not only discharge their OH&S responsibilities effectively, the must also demonstrate to each other, to employees and to other interested parties that they are committed to continual improvement in OH&S performance. Commitment can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including attendance at OH&S meetings, raising OH&S matters during discussions on operational issues, taking part in investigations and personally complying with all of the organisation's OH&S requirements. The written procedure on structure and responsibility should describe an appropriate range of methods.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if the methods to be used for demonstrating personal commitment are not dealt with in the written procedure on structure and responsibility, OR any of the methods listed is inappropriate, OR the statement on demonstrating commitment is inadequate in any other way.


Question 4.4.1.1.10

Is the provision of resources dealt with adequately in the written procedure on structure and responsibility?


Guidance: Management must provide resources for the implementation, control and improvement of the OH&S management system and organisations must document how this resource provision will be carried out.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if resource provision is not dealt with in the written procedure on structure and responsibility, OR one or more of the categories of resources described in the guidance to this question is not dealt with, OR the statement on resource provision is inadequate in any other way.


Section 4.4.1.2 Demonstrated Commitment – Implementation


Question 4.4.1.2.1

Do all those with management responsibility demonstrate their commitment to the continual improvement of OH&S performance?


Guidance: Managers must not only discharge their OH&S responsibilities effectively, the must also demonstrate to each other, to employees and to other interested parties that they are committed to continual improvement in OH&S performance. Commitment can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including attendance at OH&S meetings, raising OH&S matters during discussions on operational issues, taking part in investigations and personally complying with all of the organisation's OH&S requirements. Check with a representative sample of managers what they do to demonstrate their personal commitment. Check with a representative sample of employees and other interested parties what their views are on the demonstrated commitment of managers.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is any credible evidence that one or more managers does not demonstrate commitment to continual improvement in OH&S performance.


Section 4.4.1.3 Roles etc - Definition, Documentation and Communication


Guidance: The questions in this section check the definition, documentation and communication of roles, responsibilities and authorities. Other aspects of roles, responsibilities and authorities are checked in the SMi evaluation.


Question 4.4.1.3.1

Manage - defined. Are the roles, responsibilities and authorities of those who manage activities having an effect on the organisation's OH&S risks defined and documented?


Guidance: The effective management of the organisation's OH&S risks, which include the risks arising from the organisation's activities, facilities and processes, is essential for good OH&S performance. Important first steps in ensuring this are the definition and documentation of the management roles, responsibilities and authorities involved. Organisations should identify all of the relevant roles, responsibilities and authorities of managers and record these in a suitable format.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if any of a representative sample of OH&S management roles, responsibilities or authorities is not defined, OR any of a representative sample of OH&S management roles, responsibilities or authorities is not documented, OR the definition or documentation of any of a representative sample of OH&S management roles, responsibilities or authorities is inadequate in any other way.


Question 4.4.1.3.2

Manage - communicated. Are the roles, responsibilities and authorities of those who manage activities having an effect on the organisation's OH&S risks communicated to them?


Guidance: It is unlikely that roles and responsibilities will be discharged effectively, or authority exercised effectively, unless the appropriate information is communicated to the relevant managers. This is best done by having the relevant managers agree the documented version of their roles, responsibilities and authorities and retaining a written record of this agreement.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if any of a representative sample of OH&S management roles, responsibilities or authorities is not documented, OR if any of a representative sample of OH&S managers has not agreed his or her roles, responsibilities or authorities, OR the communication of OH&S management roles, responsibilities or authorities is inadequate in any other way.


Section 4.4.1.4 Management Appointee - Implementation

Has a member of top management been allocated particular responsibility for ensuring that the OH&S management system is properly implemented and performing to requirements?


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that a member of the organisation's top management is given special responsibilities with respect to OH&S. This person is known as the management appointee and this person's OH&S role must cover all locations and spheres of operation within the organisation. The activities of the management appointee have to meet certain criteria and these criteria form the basis of the questions in the remainder of this section. The present question merely checks that there is a designated management appointee.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no management appointee, OR there is no written record of the allocation of responsibilities to the management appointee, OR the written record is inadequate in any way.


Question 4.4.1.4.1

Is the OH&S system established, implemented and maintained?


Guidance: If the OH&S management system is not established, implemented and maintained, then the management appointee is not meeting adequately this requirement of OHSAS 18001.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if the results from other sections of the evaluation provide credible evidence that parts of the OH&S management system have not been established, OR parts have not been implemented, OR there are failures to maintain the OH&S management system.


Section 4.4.1.5 Resources - Implementation


Question 4.4.1.5.1

Implementation. Does management provide the resources essential for the implementation of the OH&S management system?


Guidance: The resources required to implement an OH&S management system will vary from organisation to organisation, depending on, for example, the size of the organisation and the state of development of any existing OH&S management system. However, in most organisations, full implementation will take months or years and during the implementation period the management must provide the necessary resources. Required resources include human resources and specialised skills, technology and financial resources.

Verification guidance: Answer "NA" to this question if the OH&S management system is fully implemented. Answer "No" to this question if there is credible evidence that management are not providing any relevant resource, OR any relevant resource is not provided at a sufficient level.