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What Leaders Have to do Under ISO 45001

ISO 45001 Requirement: The organization’s management must be the primary force behind implementing the Occupational Health and Safety Management System, making it one of their top priorities.

The Key Requirements are outlined on this page.

Section 5 Leadership and Worker Participation

Section 5.1: Leadership and Commitment

Top management is required to develop, lead and promote a culture in the organization that supports the OH&S management system and which encourages workers, and where they exist, workers’ representatives, to actively participate in the OH&S management system, as well as the involvement of relevant interested parties.

The commitment and leadership are key in the establishment and implementation of an effective OH&S management system and an occupational health and safety culture.

Expanding upon Leadership, this section requires top management to:

  • Motivate and require individuals to successfully support the OH&S
  • Create a culture of Continual Improvement
  • Foster all levels of management to make the OH&S a priority

An important point made in this section is the broadening of the idea of “business strategy” to virtually any type of organization that wishes to use ISO 45001 as its health and safety management system including non-profit and government entities.

For more information, read Management Commitment

Section 5.2: Policy

Here the standard requires that top management establish, communicate and enforce an OH&S policy is stressed as a primary leadership responsibility, including:

  • Direct management responsibility for ensuring that the OH&S policy is aligned with the organization’s “strategic direction,” including how the OH&S goals and requirements are set.
  • The commitment to make the OH&S a living document that is continually updated and refined as the organization learns what does or does not work
  • An open, accessible (to all stakeholders if reasonable), often updated and well explained OH&S policy is now management’s responsibility
  • All applicable legal requirements

For more information, read OH&S Policy

Section 5.3: Organizational Roles, Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Authorities

The standard wants top management to make sure that people have responsibility and authority in their respective roles and are accountable for achieving the goals and objectives of the organization and that the resulting effort conforms to all applicable ISO 45001 requirements, particularly regarding the OH&S performance.

This means that each element of the OH&S policy is properly delegated, explained, understood, executed, sustained and monitored through an effective management review of the OH&S system.

This also means that workers at each level of the organization (starting with top management) need to assume responsibility for those aspects of the OH&S management system over which they have control.

This section supports the previous section on management commitment and expands on Responsibilities of Top Management

Section 5.4: Participation and Consultation

The standard requires that organizations establish, implement and maintain processes for participation and consultation in the development, planning, implementation, evaluation and actions for improvement of the OH&S management system by workers at all applicable levels and functions, and where they exist, workers’ representatives.

For more information, read Participation & Consultation


Please note that certain text from the ISO 45001 standard is only used for instructional purposes. Standard Stores recognizes and respects the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) copyright and intellectual property guidelines.


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