Purpose of a Health and Safety Policy
A policy is a written statement, usually comprising of three elements: a statement section (often a single page) detailing how safety will be managed and that demonstrates the organisation's commitment to health and safety an organisation section that details where responsibilities are allocated, organisation structure, and how employees fit into the overall safety management system an arrangements section that contains details of how specific activities and functions are managed. This arrangements section could include such matters as risk assessments, fire safety, first aid, accident reporting, electrical safety, work equipment, hazardous substances, manual handling and other workplace issues. In larger organisations the arrangements section may refer to other documents, such as safety manuals or safe systems of work.
All organisations employing five or more people must have a written Health and Safety Policy statement. The policy should cover all aspects of the organisation and be relevant to all employees. A Health and Safety Policy demonstrates how seriously an organisation takes its health and safety responsibilities. A good policy will show how the organisation protects those who could be affected by its activities. The policy should be of an appropriate length and relevance to the activities and size of the organisation. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 The Act says that you must prepare your own statement and bring it to the attention of all employees. The policy should be reviewed and revised as often as necessary. Legally, the policy only requires you to address the health and safety matters relating to employees, but in many organisations, it is a good idea to have a policy that considers the safety of others who might be affected by your activities, i.e. volunteers, contractors and the general public. With or without a written policy, all employers have a duty of care to protect their employees...
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