ISO 45001 – Are you consulting your workers?
One of the requirements specific to ISO 45001 is clause 5.4 ‘Consultation and participation of workers’. This requires two-way communication between management and non-managerial workers. With the emphasis on two-way, auditors will be looking for evidence that workers are involved in the identification of hazards, operational control measures, investigations of incidents and nonconformities amongst many other areas as listed in 5.4 d) and e).
Most important is the two-way emphasis. It is not good enough for a H & S Manager to determine hazards, write RAMS, given them to workers to sign to say they have seen and understood them. The company needs to ensure that there is an environment where workers are encouraged to give feedback to be considered by the organisation and can do so without the fear of disciplinary action or threats of dismissal. Many organisations have whistleblowing policies and procedures to assist with this.
Evidence will include minutes of meetings with non-managerial workers, interviews with a random sample of workers, toolbox talks and other training. Examples of how workers have contributed to the decision-making processes on OH&S performance measures and proposed changes will be looked for.
NB: please note that workers are not limited to those employed by the organisation but may include subcontractors.