Here it is not required to evolve steps of methodology for defining OHSAS 18001 responsibilities, as the responsibilities are functions of so many parameters like organisation structure, culture and operations. However, it is always possible to provide broad guidelines and responsibilities of key personnel. But the key personnel’s responsibility may not be exactly the same as prescribed hereunder. So little exercise would be required by the management to define the responsibilities. Here follows the Guidelines and sample responsibilities.
An effective organisation for OHSAS management is vital to the success of the OHSAS Policy and action plan. The enterprise should be designed to maximize the contribution of individuals and groups through participation at all levels of the enterprise. Organizational arrangements, structures and relationships need to be defined to identify the persons with the responsibilities and authority to ensure that the programme works. These include.
- Provision of resources
- Carrying out set procedures and work task
- Initiating action to prevent non-compliance with legal or policy requirements
- Identifying potential hazards
- Recommending solutions to hazards and verifying their implementation
- Controlling activities unit required changes are carried our; and
- Acting in emergencies.
Thus, responsibilities need to be clearly identified and communicated throughout the enterprise so that everyone knows whose job it is to do what. Without clear responsibilities, the following hazards might hinder the enterprise’s OHSAS performance:
- Everyone assumes that someone else is carrying out the necessary action, but in fact no-one is, hence gaps arise in system
- Employees feel that a particular issue “is not my job:
- Duplication of effort may be aimed at the same goal, or in different directions
- Resources are not adequately provided or properly targeted
- No one knows what actions are required at certain times, especially during emergencies.
At the same time that responsibilities are clearly defined, authority needs to be given to individuals with designated responsibilities. This authority will allow them to draw upon the enterprise’s resources, to request actions and support from others and, ultimately, to carry out their responsibilities.
Authority and responsibility:
To be effective the OHSAS management system requires an enterprise that clearly defines “who does what” and how control is delegated. The Organisation structure consists of four main elements:
- The organisational chart
- Job descriptions
- Clear reporting lines and procedures
- Performance targets.
It should be clear that although authority and actions can be delegated, appointed responsibility couldn’t be delegated. Thus, if the deputy director is responsible for the definition of the action plan or the achievement of its targets, this overall responsibility cannot be delegated to lower levels in the enterprise. An organisation chart is essential to define the structure. The aim should not be to create new arrangements and organisational tiers and lines of communication, but to build upon what already exists. In this way the OHSAS activities are immediately built into the business, rather than being seen as an “extra” activity.
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