Health and Safety Policy Writing
What is a Health and Safety Policy?
A health and safety policy statement, is a document which sets out a businesses approach and commitment to managing health & safety in the workplace.
The document should establish what you hope to achieve by managing risks. Who is responsible for reducing those risks. And what you are going to do to achieve your goals. Your health and safety policy document should endeavour to protect employees and anyone else who could be affected by your companies activities.
Your policy should be the heart of your safety management system so ensure it’s well-written.
Courtley Health & Safety will write your health and safety policy document for you as part of our membership package. Our membership package ensures you have the ongoing support needed to implement the policy to its fullest extent. More information on our membership package can be found here.
Purpose Of A Health and Safety Policy
The primary purpose of a health and safety policy is to ensure your business complies with the Health and Safety Act.
However, because a well written health and safety policy will identify potential workplace risks to your staff. It should also help to reduce the amount of accidents and injuries which happen in your business.
As your policy will also establish the hazards and risks involved with certain tasks. This will give you an understanding of the skill level your employees need to have. Meaning you can use your policy document to identify the required training for staff.
How To Ensure Your Policy is Implemented Correctly
Ensuring the policy is implemented correctly is just as important as writing the policy in the first place.
The best way to achieve this is to make sure everyone in the workplace is aware of the policy. Has the necessary resources available to execute the policy. And if anyone has a role or responsibility defined by the policy, that they are fully aware of the role and all that it entails.
Is a Health and Safety Policy a Legal Requirement?
Yes. Under the Occupational Health & Safety Act. Any organisation which employs five or more staff is required to have a written Health and Safety Policy.
If you have less than 5 employees you do not need to write anything down. However, we would still recommend that you take some time to assess the risks associated with your workplace, and put this in writing.
How Often should Health and Safety Policy be Reviewed?
There is actually no legal requirement to review your health and safety policy after a set period of time. But it is a requirement that your policy accurately reflects what the business is doing.
We would recommend you review your policy as frequently as you can. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will be changing it or rewriting sections each time. But it will ensure that your policy is up to date, and does reflect the current practices of the business.
Health and Safety Policy Template
As every business is different and comes with its own associated risks. There is no single template which is suitable for every business. However, every health and safety policy compiled by Courtley Health & Safety is a written document which comprises four main elements.
- A statement section demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to health and safety in the workplace.
- An organisation section which details different employees’ responsibilities and how they fit into the overall safety management system.
- An arrangements section detailing how specific activities are managed in order to realise the policy statement.
- An appendix of example documents used by the company in their safety management system. For example this could be a risk assessment or a COSHH assessments, or the evacuation process in the event of a fire.
If you would like to discuss your health and safety policy document, fill in the contact form below.