ISO 45001 explicates the terms “top management” as “person or group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level”.
Top management is the leadership of an organization who has the rights to delegate authority and offer resources within the organization. Top management is considered to be ultimately responsible for the OH&S management system.
If the scope of the management system comprises only one constituent of an organization, then top management refers to those who direct and control that part of the organization.
It is the top management who defines the OH&S policy of the organization. It is their leadership to translate the objectives sought from the policy to down the line. Top management has to make sure they take part in performance evaluation of the system by management reviews at defined frequency. It is their responsibility to examine results of internal audit.
The role of top management is a role of leadership, dedication and commitment towards the well being, safety of personals and improved workplace in an organization implementing OH&S management system. Without the support of top management, it is wisely said that OH&S management system cannot be maintained.