6.2.2 Planning Actions to Achieve OH&S Objectives [ISO 45001 Procedure]

6.2.2 Planning Actions to Achieve OH&S Objectives

Planning actions for OH&S objectives in ISO 45001 involves aligning health and safety goals with policy requirements and available resources. It includes assigning responsibility, setting timelines, and implementing measures for tracking progress and evaluating success.

This process ensures objectives support the overall safety policy and are achievable with the resources at hand.

Effective planning integrates these actions into the organization's business processes, with a focus on continual evaluation and improvement.

Documentation and maintenance of these objectives and plans are essential for effective health and safety management.


Planning actions to achieve OH&S objectives, involves several key steps:

  • It starts with setting performance targets and indicators that are realistic, relevant, and linked to safety objectives. These include both leading (proactive) and lagging (reactive) indicators.
  • The plan must identify necessary resources, skills, verification criteria, and include details on calibration of measuring or test equipment.
  • An action plan for each objective should be established, with a target leader responsible for achieving the target within a specified timeframe.
  • The plan should involve employees and communicate expectations and responsibilities clearly.

Regular review and adjustment of the health and safety management program are essential for continual improvement.

Auditing Indicators

The use of indicators needs to be audited in detail in order to determine whether:

  • Objectives are based on sound information
  • Indicators really are related to the corresponding objectives
  • Statistical tools are needed to define and to monitor objectives
  • Indicators reach the expected values
  • The organization can assure that the objective has been achieved

Planning Activity - Recording Evidence

You should seek and record evidence that effective planning was undertaken in support of the organization’s health and safety objectives and their achievement.

You should ensure that this planning activity takes into considerations of Clause 6.2.1, as well as the following points:

  • Identification of processes, resources, and skills needed to achieve health and safety
  • Identification of suitable verification criteria at appropriate stages
  • Compatibility of design, production, inspection and testing
  • The confirmation of criteria of acceptability for all features and requirements
  • Details of calibration of any special measuring or test equipment to be used

Action Plan & Target Leader

Establishing an action plan for each objective may require considerable effort on the part of the personnel at relevant levels within your organization.

To ensure the progress of the action plan and a coordinated effort, a target leader should be selected for each target. The target leader will be responsible for ensuring a target is achieved within the specified time-frame.

Once the action plan is established, you must implement it.

Tips for A Successful Action Plan

You may find that the following suggestions will help foster a cooperative effort in accomplishing the plan:

  1. Involve your employees early in establishing and carrying out the action plans
  2. Communicate the expectations and responsibilities laid out in the action plans to those who need to know
  3. Build on the plans and programmes you have now for OH&S Management System compliance
  4. Keep it simple
  5. Focus on continual improvement of management programmes over time

The health and safety management programme should be revised regularly to reflect changes in your organization’s objectives and targets. Track all new or modified operations, activities, and/or products in case the management programme needs to be amended to reflect these changes.

Step 1: Selecting Performance Targets and Indicators

Health and safety performance indicators are the parameters that provide the organization with a view of its safety performance: where it has been; where it is now; and where it is headed, in relation to safety. This picture acts as a solid and defensible foundation upon which the organization’s data-driven safety decisions are made.

These decisions, in turn, positively affect the organization’s safety performance.

The identification of safety performance indicators should therefore be realistic, relevant, and linked to the safety objectives, regardless of their simplicity or complexity. These should reflect the ultimate aim of minimising risk, while the immediate objective may be to achieve a level of performance that complies with relevant legal requirements.

It is likely the initial selection of health and safety performance indicators will be limited to the monitoring and measurement of parameters representing events or processes that are easy and/or convenient to capture health and safety data that may be readily available.

Ideally, SPIs should focus on parameters that are important indicators of health and safety performance, rather than on those that are easy to attain.

Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs) Should Be

  1. Related to the health and safety objective they aim to indicate
  2. Selected or developed based on available data and reliable measurement
  3. Appropriately specific and quantifiable
  4. Realistic, by taking into account the possibilities and constraints of the organization

A combination of health and safety performance indicators is usually required to provide a clear indication of safety performance. There should be a clear link between lagging and leading performance indicators. Ideally lagging SPIs should be defined before determining leading SPIs.

Defining a precursor health and safety performance indicator that is linked to a more serious event or condition (the lagging SPI) ensures there is a clear correlation between the two. All of the SPIs, lagging and leading, are equally valid and valuable.

Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs) Contents

The Contents of each performance indicators should include:

  1. A description of what the SPI measures
  2. The purpose of the SPI (what it is intended to manage and who it is intended to inform)
  3. The units of measurement and any requirements for its calculation
  4. Who is responsible for collecting, validating, monitoring, reporting and acting on the SPI (these may be staff from different parts of the organization)
  5. Where and how the data should be collected
  6. The frequency of reporting, collecting, monitoring and analysis of the SPI data

Measurable targets and indicators should be agreed with all managers responsible for achieving the plan and should be clearly communicated to those involved in its implementation.

Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs) Categories

The two most common categories used by organizations to classify SPI performance indicators are:

  1. Lagging (Reactive)
  2. Leading (Proactive)

selecting performance indicators

Step 2: Selecting Leading Performance Indicators

There are a variety of ways to measure health and safety performance, but no single metric will provide leaders with all the information they need. Instead, several measures are needed provide an accurate picture of the organization’s health and safety performance.

Leading or proactive health and safety performance indicators are measures that focus on processes and inputs that are being implemented to improve or maintain safety. Leading indicators are used to identify risks before an incident occurs. Leading indicators measure what employees are doing on a regular basis to prevent injuries.

They are also known as ‘activity or process-based SPIs’ as they monitor and measure conditions that have the potential to become or to contribute to a specific outcome.

example objective

Leading Safety Performance Indicators — Examples

Examples of leading safety performance indicators driving the development of organizational capabilities for proactive safety performance management include:

  • Percentage of staff who have successfully completed safety training on-time
  • Frequency of tool-box talks
  • Investigations completed on time
  • Frequency and attendance of employee safety awareness briefings
  • Number of job safety analyses carried out versus the number planned
  • Percentage % of required training performed
  • Health and safety risks identified and corrected
  • Percentage % of PPE compliance
  • The results of employee perception surveys
  • The results health and safety audits including the number and type of open issues and time to close
  • Frequency of health and safety meetings
  • Near-miss reporting
  • Effectiveness of investigations in establishing and correcting root-causes
  • Frequency and breadth of health and safety communication and consultation activities

Leading health and safety performance indicators may also inform the organization about how their operation copes with change, including changes in its operating environment.

The focus will be either on anticipating weaknesses and vulnerabilities as a result of the change or monitoring the performance after a change.

Step 3: Selecting Lagging Performance Indicators

The most commonly used health and safety indicator is work-related injuries and illnesses. But a low injury rate, even over a period of years, is no guarantee that risks are being controlled. This is particularly true in organizations where there is a low probability of incidents but where major hazards are present.

Lagging or reactive health and safety performance indicators measure events that have already occurred. They are also referred to as ‘outcome-based SPIs’ and are normally (but not always) the negative outcomes the organization is aiming to avoid.

Lagging health and safety performance indicators help the organization understand what has happened in the past and are useful for long-term trending. They can be used as a high-level indicator or as an indication of specific occurrence types or locations, such as ‘types of incidents per job-role type’ or ‘specific incident types by location or region’.

Because lagging SPIs measure safety outcomes, they can measure the effectiveness of health and safety mitigations. They are effective at validating the overall safety performance of the system.

Trends in lagging SPIs can be analysed to determine conditions existing in the system that should be addressed.

  • Number of major risk incidents
  • Recordable incident frequency
  • Injury frequency and severity
  • Lost workdays
  • Damaged property
  • Number of internal audits
  • Number of audit findings per audit
  • Number of safety committee meetings
  • Safety committee attendance of key personnel
  • Number of hazard/safety reports
  • Number of safety newsletters issued
  • Number of formal risk assessments
  • Number of safety surveys


Step 4: Selecting Goals and Measurements

Development of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive (SMART) goals is important to the success of any health and safety programme.

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of focusing solely on the desired outcomes in the development of their goals. They fail to develop activity-based goals that will help them to get to those outcomes.

To increase the chances of success, develop both activity-based and outcome-based goals.

Prioritize metrics in areas of concern or where a serious incident is more likely to occur. For example, if vehicle incidents are common, measure the level of driver training or review the frequency of incidents in different regions.

Outcome based Goals

Activity or Process-based Goals

% Reduction in OH&S recordable injuries Investigations completed on time
% Reduction in workers’ compensation claims Investigation identifies causes
% Reduction in workers’ compensation costs Investigation identifies action plan
Reduction in vehicle incidents per 1000 hours worked Action plan implemented
Safety meetings held as scheduled
Improvement in internal audit results Agenda promoted in advance
Reduction in observed hazards Safety records updated and posted
Reduction in average cost per claim Inspections conducted as scheduled
Frequency of all injuries/illnesses Inspection findings brought to closure
Severity of all injuries/illnesses Management safety communications
Reduction in lost-time incidents Management safety participation
Near miss/near hit reports
Discipline/violations reports
Reduction of absenteeism rates Rate of employee Suggestions/complaints
Reduction of incidence of workplace violence Resolution of suggestions/complaints
Self-audits for regulatory compliance Safety committee initiatives
Total manufacturing process incidents Job safety analyses
Total transportation/production incidents Employee participation rates
Employee housekeeping
Percent safety goals achieved Employee safety awareness
Training conducted as scheduled Employee at-risk behaviour
Safety training test scores Supervisor/manager participation
Statistical tracking for programmes Supervisor/manager communication
Statistical process control Supervisor/manager enforcement
System safety analyses Supervisor/manager safety emphasis
Contractor safety activities Supervisor/manager safety awareness
Positive reinforcement activities Injury/illness cases reported on time
OH&S audit – no citations Statistical reports issued on time
OH&S audit – citations, no fines Ratio of safety and health staff to workforce
Wilful violations Safety and health spending per employee
Total amount of penalties Policies and procedures updated on time
Average time to abate reported hazard Wellness program participation rates
Average time to respond to complaint Fire protection audit


Video — ISO 45001 2018 Clause 6.2.2 Planning to achieve OH&S objectives

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Safety Objectives & Indicators Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to establish how your organization implements and maintains its health and safety objectives, targets, indicators and relevant management programmes that are consistent with our safety policies, and whose achievement demonstrates continual improvement.

This procedure helps to ensure that our safety objectives are practical, achievable, reviewed and communicated to staff.


Forms & Reports also included:

  • Safety Objectives & Indicators Process Turtle Diagram
  • Register of Safety Objectives & SPIs
  • Safety Objectives Programme
  • Risk & Opportunity Register
  • Hazard Identification Register

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