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Health & Safety Policy

Health & Safety Policy

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Creating an effective health and safety policy
A health and safety policy is a plan showing how you will manage your organisation’s health and safety issues. It should be a practical guide to how you manage health and safety within your business. It should set out the actions you are taking to:

What should be in your health and safety policy document?

The safety organisational chart.

The organisation section states who is responsible for what. The overall responsibility for safety rests on the employer, but day-to-day responsibility can be delegated to others within the business. It may show who will undertake specific safety management tasks like risk assessments and audits.

The organisation section may include a diagram or chart showing the safety responsibilities of:

Who will be your ‘competent person’?

You must appoint a ‘competent person’ to help you manage health and safety responsibilities for your business. Your competent person should be able to advise you on what your legal duties are, whether your safety management is sufficient. They will also need to offer help on what changes are needed to ensure you stay compliant.

The arrangements section

The arrangements section of your policy should outline how you will meet your safety commitments shown in your statement of intent. It shows the steps you will take to eliminate or reduce as far as is reasonably practical the risks posed by the hazards in your business.

It may also include:

Do you employ five or more people?

  • You and your employees
  • Members of the public
  • The owner/managing director
  • Other managers
  • Supervisors or team leaders
  • All employees

Staff Involvement in Workplace Safety

You are legally bound to consult with your employees on safety at work issues. You are also legally required to bring the statement of intent section of your policy to the attention of your employees and let them know where to find the more detailed arrangements sections.

Some of the ways that you can bring the policy statement to your employees’ attention are by:

Monitor the effectiveness of your policy

Once the policy is in place – it is not a mere “shelf filler” … a company needs to ensure its staff adhere to the contents

WAYS TO CHECK YOUR SAFETY POLICY

This section covers your commitment to managing health and safety effectively and how you are going to achieve this. The most senior person in the business must sign and date the statement.

You should focus your attention on the activities that could affect the most people or cause serious harm.

  • Employee handbooks
  • Employee induction training
  • Including a copy with the contract of employment
  • Intranet sites
  • Staff notice boards
  • Making the duties in the policy part of your employees’ workplace objectives

Employees can also play an important part in monitoring the effectiveness of your policy, eg by carrying out workplace inspections.

  • You can monitor whether people are working in accordance with your safety rules and methods
  • You can inspect your workplace for hazards
  • You can check whether any safety records are being used. For example, it is wise to record workplace safety inspections and training given to staff.
  • You must be able to show that you are monitoring health and safety concerns in your organisation
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