Under ISO 45001 leading to Sustainable Certification, the most important aspects preside within the premises of worker consultation & participation. But what exactly are those and why do they matter?

In premise, participation refers to the worker’s involvement in global decision-making. And consultation refers to the seeking of opinions before a decision is cultivated.

In this article, we will provide a more intricate look into both. So that you can fully understand the value of each, and how to implement them under compliance.

So if you’d like to reach Sustainable Certification, the first thing to do is to learn. So keep reading.


Worker Participation & Consultation

Under the fifth section of the standard, the same obligations are OHSAS 18011 can be witnessed. Leadership & commitment, organization roles, OH&S policy, responsibilities & authorities.

But there is also something extra, which refers to the consultation and participation of workers. If your structure follows the standard (ISO 45001) outline, and you do not have 5.4 as a separate section, you should definitely ask if you have comprehensively reviewed the clause.

The standard has a defined perception of both these terms, and they are:

  • Consultation – the seeking of opinions before a decision is made
  • Participation – the involvement of others in the global decision-making process

In both circumstances, the terms are outlined as engaging safety & health committees, as well as worker representatives. This refers to double-sided communication that involves exchanges and dialogues.

For instance, if a newsletter is sent out, it would not constitute a double-sided communication, even if there is an option to provide feedback. Similarly, a suggestion box could be part of the system, but would not be double-sided either.

On the contrary, an implement safety committee with front-lien and floor personnel representation could be a method of employee engagement.

Consultation assists informed review to be considered by the enterprise before any decision is made. Participation assists workers in the contribution of their option upon decision-making procedures that would affect the entire OH&S output.

Feedback is dependent upon the participating of workers, and all levels of employment should be encouraged to report troubling circumstances, as to place preventative processes in place.

Even though documentation is not necessary for the standard, it can go quite a ways in supporting an appropriate OH&S structure. This can demonstrate how dialogue results in the influence of outcomes and system changes.


Workers Should Participate In

Even though the prior-mentioned elaborations upon participation are quite clear, they are not well-defined. So that’s why we need to provide examples of what workers should actually participate in.

  • Hazard elimination and identification
  • Training & competence
  • Methods for participation and consultation
  • Control measures
  • Communication
  • Nonconformity review and incident follow-ups

But that’s not all. They can also participate in the development and review of OH&S policies, improvement of OH&S procedures and arrangements, and much more. Worker participation is extended, and the more involved they are in the process, the better your compliance will be. It’s a team effort.


Workers Should Be Consulted In

​Once again, without clearly defined examples of what workers should be consulted on, there’s really no purpose for this article. As follows, here are some useful examples of workers should be consulted upon.

  • OHS Policies
  • Procurement, outsourcing & contractor control
  • Measure & monitoring
  • Continual improvement
  • Audit procedures
  • OH&S planning and objectives
  • Compliance obligations
  • Assignment of responsibilities & roles
  • Expectations and needs of involved parties

But they can also participate in the fulfilment of legal requirements and other concepts of obligatory nature. They can help determine what needs to be evaluated and measured, and much more.

For more derivative and direct examples, refer to the sections that follow the clause of 5.4 in your ISO Standard. If you cannot find this section, get in touch with us and we will do our best to ensure that you are not missing out on important information within the standard.


Encouraging ISO 45001 Compliance

It’s up to the enterprise to determine the most optimal way of ensuring regulated participation and consultation. As well as if formal mechanisms need to be set up, such as safety committees and health partitions.

While consultation is about seeking the opinions of workers, and considering them fully before a decision is made. Participation is about combined decision-making, as to jointly taking on a risk assessment and agreeing upon decisions that are involved in changing the OH&S objectives or policy.

For small entities, it can be quite useful to include all of the employees in decision-making and communication. Whereas a larger entity might appoint several worker representatives. Other mechanisms for participation & consultation include workshops, team meetings, surveys, and suggestion procedures.

The enterprise should encourage ISO 45001 compliance through the ensuring of processes that include interested parties and contractors, people carrying out work under enterprise control, or in parts of the enterprise not managed by the system.

This can include but is not limited to, contractor consultation upon hazard issues that must be dealt with, especially those that are unfamiliar or new to them.


Achieving Sustainable Certification

Now that you understand the importance and value of worker participation and consultation under ISO 45001, you can finally move towards achieving sustainable certification. In any case, it’s your organization, and the extent to which your employees are consulted & participate is up to you, not them.

If you are unsure upon how you can do this, or if you would like experienced help upon this task, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate you towards being compliant