5.3 Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities [ISO 45001]

ISO 45001 Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities

Each employee needs to know who is responsible for the various elements of the OH&S Management System to ensure a successful implementation. You should develop and make available to all employees a list of key personnel and their job descriptions, responsibilities, along with an organizational chart of key employees as they relate to the management system.

This should effectively define, document, and communicate the organizational structure of the OH&S Management System. Please note that this method is a suggestion, and other ways of meeting the requirement for organizational structure may be used.


Organization Chart

Develop an organization chart and create job descriptions to satisfy the requirements:

  1. Clearly define roles, responsibilities and authorities
  2. Communicate those responsibilities and authorities throughout your organization

There is no longer a requirement for appointment of Management Representative (MR), though the duties must still be undertaken but can be assigned to different personnel. Examples of objective evidence to verify implementation might include:

  1. Communication of roles, responsibilities and authority
  2. Processes and procedures to fulfil requirements are adequately resourced
  3. Awareness of expectations is demonstrated in all relevant levels of the organization
  4. Reporting on the operation (audits & inspections) and performance is done via business meetings, SPI reviews, etc.

You should seek evidence that your organization’s personnel have not only been advised of their responsibilities and authorities, but also that they understand these in the context of the overall purpose of the management system. You should also ensure that Top management have assigned responsibility and authority for preserving the integrity of the organization’s OH&S Management System during changes.

Top Management Engineering Drawing

5.3.1 Top Management

Top management are responsible for business planning, development and the communication of our policies, health and safety management system planning, the establishment and deployment of policies, objectives, the provision of resources needed to implement and improve the management system, and for undertaking reviews.

Duties also include:

  • Promote the OH&S policies when communicating with Management, Workers, and Subcontractors
  • Provide support for the implementation of the OH&S Management System
  • Ensure resources are provided for maintaining and improving the OH&S Management System
  • Ensure that Management Teams meet on a regular basis to monitor and review OH&S performance
  • Promote, recognize and reward safe behaviors
  • Maintain personal accountability for overall safety performance
  • Approve safety policies
  • Monitor resource levels and approve expenditure
  • Review and approve investigation reports
  • Participate in meetings of the Management Teams

Top management accepts their legal and moral obligations to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, a safe and healthy working environment. Safe Systems of Work (SSoW) are implemented to protect workers, contractors, and anyone else who may be affected by our operations, from physical harm.

In pursuance of this duty, Top management should appoint safety specialists to discharge occupational health and safety duties within your operations.

Health & Safety Manager

5.3.2 Health & Safety Manager

The Health & Safety Manager should be responsible for ensuring that any identified occupational health and safety hazards are eliminated or reduced at source to As-Low-As-Reasonably-Practicable (ALARP).

The H&S manager should also ensure that your organization’s strategic development does not compromise the intended outcomes of the health and safety management system by:

  1. Promoting, recognizing and rewarding safe behaviors
  2. Maintaining personal accountability for overall safety performance
  3. Reporting on the operation of the OH&S management system
  4. Ensuring that improvement is taking place
  5. Ensuring that customer focus is promoted throughout the organization
  6. Ensuring that whenever changes to the health and safety management system are planned and implemented
  7. Ensuring the integrity of the system is maintained during changes
  8. Ensuring that responsibilities and authorities within the health and safety management system are communicated and delegated

Health & Safety Representatives

5.3.3 Health & Safety Representatives

The rights of Health and Safety Representatives are laid down in the 1977 Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations, which is part of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Health and Safety Representatives are nominated by Workers.

They must receive appropriate training which is refreshed accordingly. The Health & Safety Representatives are to be given access to the information necessary to fulfil their function. They must be notified of any visit by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).


Health & Safety Representatives play a key role in workplace health and safety and work with Top management on health and safety issues by representing the health and safety interests of workers and contractors, and are responsible for the undertaking to following duties:

  1. Promote, recognize and reward safe behaviors
  2. Maintain personal accountability for overall OH&S performance
  3. Attend meetings of safety committees
  4. Investigating the causes of incidents
  5. Investigate potential and actual hazards and dangerous occurrences
  6. Investigate colleagues’ concerns and complaints
  7. Present colleagues’ concerns to management
  8. Carry out workplace inspections
  9. Acting on information that might impact upon the health, safety, and welfare of our workers
  10. Inspecting documents relevant to safety in the workplace
  11. Making representations to Top management
  12. Receiving information from HSE Inspectors, and representation in meetings with HSE Inspectors
  13. Planning and organizing health and safety training

Health & Safety Advisor Process Document

5.3.4 Health & Safety Advisors

Health & Safety Advisors support the Health & Safety Manager to deliver the following:

  1. Promoting, recognizing and rewarding safe behaviors
  2. Maintaining personal accountability for overall safety performance
  3. Providing advice and information on health and safety matters to staff and others as applicable
  4. Identifying and assessing hazards and their risks
  5. Ensuring operational controls are implemented and monitored
  6. Coordinating safety issues with employees
  7. Representation at Improvement Groups
  8. Publication of internal communications and safety newsletters
  9. Completion of audits according to the internal audit programme
  10. Increasing the competence and awareness of staff at all levels through the development of training and awareness initiatives and sharing of best practice

Managers & Supervisors

5.3.5 Managers & Supervisors

All Managers and Supervisors should demonstrate their commitment to the development and improvement of the OH&S management system through the provision of necessary resources, through their involvement in the internal audit process and through their proactive involvement in continual improvement activities.

All Managers and Supervisors must provide direction and guidance to workers in safe work practices and compliance with the safety standards and site/job specific documentation, as well as:

  1. Conducting daily pre-start shift briefings which include a discussion of safety aspects of work
  2. Consulting with safety personnel, including representatives, and review and approve JSA for tasks
  3. Instructing workers in the requirements of the OH&SMS standards and job/site-specific documentation applicable to their tasks
  4. Stopping works where activities do not comply with agreed OH&SMS standards or documentation
  5. Undertaking safety observations to provide feedback to workers
  6. Conducting documented Workplace Inspections to ensure activities conform to requirements
  7. Responding to hazard observations raised by workers
  8. Responding to, report and investigate all incidents within the area of responsibility, and apply skill and experience in the identification and implementation of corrective and preventative action

All Managers and Supervisors are responsible for planning and controlling the health and safety management system processes within their area of responsibility, including the establishment and deployment of operational level objectives and the provision of resources needed to implement and improve these processes.

workers contractors mining

5.3.6 Workers & Contractors

All workers and contractors must responsible for the safety of their work, that of their co-workers, and for the implementation of our policies and procedures applicable to the processes that they perform. Workers and contractors have the authority to stop production to correct safety problems.

Workers and contractors should be motivated and empowered to identify and report any known or potential problems and to recommend solutions to aid subsequent risk management and corrective action activities. All workers and contractors are encouraged to participate and engage with occupational health and safety management processes.

At your facilities, your organization should appoint nominated Health & Safety Representatives, First Aiders and Fire Marshals as required by local conditions, and as determined by fire risk assessments. Employees who share workspace are required to cooperate and coordinate their actions to ensure safe undertakings.


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Updated: 30th March 2022
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