As Employers it is your responsibility to write your own Health and Safety Policy and Risk Assessments
A H&S Policy should consist of three parts:
A general statement of intent
This should outline in broad terms the organisation’s management of health and safety, including the responsibilities of both management and the workforce.
Organisation (people and their duties)
- Who is responsible to whom and for what?
- How is policy implementation monitored?
- Individual job descriptions including safety responsibilities
- Details of specific safety responsibilities
- An organisational chart clearly showing the lines of responsibility and accountability in terms of health and safety management.
Arrangements (systems and procedures)
This part of the policy deals with the practical arrangements by which the policy will be effectively implemented. These include:
- Safety training; Safe systems of work
- Environmental control; Safe place of work
- Machine/area guarding; Housekeeping
- Safe plant and equipment; Noise control
- Radiation safety; Dust control
- Use of toxic materials; Internal communication/participation
- Utilisation of safety committee(s) and safety representatives
- Fire safety and prevention; Medical facilities and welfare
- Maintenance of records; Accident reporting and investigation
- Emergency procedures; Workplace monitoring.
PLEASE NOTE: Records of arrangements are required to be kept where five or more employees are employed (Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999)
Health and safety policy statements should state their main objectives, e.g.:
- Commit to operating the business in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all applicable regulations made under the Act, ‘so far as reasonably practicable.’
- Indicate that it is the duty of management to maintain a safe and healthy place of work.
- Indicate that it is the duty of all employees to act responsibly to prevent injury to themselves and fellow workers.
- Identify the main person who have prime responsibility for health and safety.
- Be dated so as to ensure that it is periodically revised (ideally annually) and be signed by the owner or whoever speaks for the organisation at the highest level. Clearly state how and by whom its operation is to be monitored.
Remember, employees must be aware of the policy and its contents. In particular they must understand the arrangements which affect them and what their own responsibilities might be. They may be given their own copy (for example, within an employee handbook) or the policy might be displayed around the workplace. Detailed briefings may be necessary, for example as part of induction training, to ensure full dissemination within the organisation
These can be simple documents that are completed for activities undertaken within the organisation, they state the Hazard, Risks and Control Measures.
Melanie Webb – Health and Safety Officer firstname.lastname@example.org.