A written health and safety policy is a legal requirement for businesses with five or more employees, so if you haven’t got one in place then you should get something written up right away.
Without one you could face being issued with an improvement notice from the HSE, a massive fine, or even prison, so it should be made a priority and it should be reviewed on a regular basis.
A health and safety policy needs to clearly summarise how you manage health and safety in the workplace and is typically divided into three sections:
The statement of general policy
This opening section should clearly outline your general approach, intentions and commitment to health and safety in the workplace.
It should include your organisation’s aims and objectives when it comes to safety at work and can be a brief, even bullet pointed, statement that is clear and easy to understand.
You may set targets such as ‘reduce the number of workplace accidents by 50%’ or ‘train all employees in Manual Handling and Fire Safety’.
This must be signed off and dated (with the review date below) by the most senior person in the organisation and displayed for all to see.
The responsibility section
This section should set out the names, positions and duties of those within your company who have responsibilities when it comes to Health and Safety.
This would include anyone who is trained in First Aid, as a Fire Marshal or any other specific areas of Health and Safety, as well as the duty of directors and line managers when it comes to their employees.
In addition to supervisory and specialist roles, your employees need to have a summary of their duties when taking reasonable care of their own and others’ Health and Safety at work.
The arrangements section
The third and final section should identify what actions will be put in place to meet the aims set in your opening statement of general policy.
This includes any control measures that you will set up to manage the Health and Safety of people carrying out certain workplace activities or those who might be affected by them.
You should mention items such as any risk assessments that you will carry out, any facilities you have in place such as first aid and any training that you will be providing to your employees.
This is likely to be the most comprehensive section of your health and safety policy although you should avoid making it too complicated.
You do need to cover all procedures and policies which includes fire drills, smoking, machinery safety, COSHH etc.
As you can see, there are many areas that need to be considered and it can become quite a long and challenging task.
Not to mention that it needs review on a regular basis and to comply with current legislation.
We have a team of experienced Health and Safety Consultants who can review current documentation or write your Health and Safety Policy from scratch!
Call us today on 0845 2626 260 to find out more about this service