For all over 5 organisations in the UK, it is a legal requirement to have a written health and safety policy detailing how your organisation is going to manage health and safety within the company.
Health and safety policies are required to ensure those involved with the organisation are aware of how the company aim to mitigate any potential H&S issues that may arise, who to contact, and the in-depth procedures for dealing with such issues.
A successful policy will clearly outline these points and be easy to understand for all applicable personnel. Below are some easy points that will help your organisation to write a successful health and safety policy.
The three pillars of your H&S Policy:
Your statement of intent
One of the most important parts to a health and safety policy is the statement of intent. The statement should outline the aims of your company and its commitment to the management of health and safety.
A health and safety policy statement will set out how you intend to manage health and safety within your workplace. It will briefly outline your businesses attitude towards health and safety, and the steps, arrangements and management systems that you have in place to ensue you comply with the health and safety legislation.
The statement of intent should clearly state the full company name, be signed and dated by the senior person within the organisation (usually the Director or their delegate) and be regularly reviewed (at least annually).
The next area that your business must include is the responsibilities for managing certain aspects of H&S within the organisation. This should include the responsibilities of all levels of the organisation, including management, supervisors and employees.
The responsibilities must clearly define:
· The responsibilities of managers to implement the H&S policy and its associated procedures.
· The responsibilities of supervisors to implement the procedures set out by management.
· The responsibilities of employees to follow the procedures as outlined by management and supervisors.
Your health and safety policy will need to include an arrangements section. This area will clearly outline the way in which the organisation meets the commitments made within the statement of intent. The arrangements section should include information on what you are going to do to eliminate or reduce (as far as reasonably practicable), any risks or hazards within your workplace or out on site.
This section should include arrangements such as**:
· Training and Communication.
· Risk Assessments.
· Safe Systems of Work.
· Monitoring, Audit and Review.
· Sub-Contractor / Supplier Selection.
· Accident Reporting and Recording (in line with RIDDOR 2013).
· Welfare Facilities (in line with CDM Regulations 2015 – Schedule 2 and / or Workplace (H, S&W) Regulations 1992).
**Please note: This list is not exhaustive. Other areas should be included where appropriate.
Although the main objective of your health and safety policy is to protect those who you’re employing, you should consider those who your work can affect (i.e. sub-contractors; customers; clients; the public etc.) and what we can do to protect them within each section of the policy.
Surround yourself with knowledge
Not all employers are health & safety experts, nor should they be expected to be. The organisation should ensure it has access to competent H&S advice should it be required. Therefore, it is important for the organisation to appoint a responsible person internal to the organisation for health and safety and if deemed necessary, seek advice from an external competent source (i.e. someone with the necessary skills, knowledge, qualifications, and experience to manage health and safety), such as a H&S Consultant, like those at our sister company, Citation.
Communicating your H&S Policy
The policy must be readily available and brought to the attention of your employees. It is also recommended that all new employees read over the organisations health and safety policy during induction, and that it should be recirculated following any changes made.