Have you ever started to write a Health & Safety Policy for your company only to find yourself quickly out of your depth?
Thank to our extensive experience, we’ve put together some tips you can use to guide you.
We will explain why you need a Health & Safety Policy and what it should include.
It does not need to be complicated or full of jargon. Just follow the simple steps below:
Why Do You Need a Health & Safety Policy?
If you have five or more employees you must, by law, have a written health and safety policy.
What Is A Health & Safety Policy?
A health and safety policy is a
written statement, which is specific to your business and should be in three
A general policy (statement of intent) explaining what you have in place for protecting the health and safety of your employees at work.
A section stating key individuals within your Company (or job titles), who have health and safety responsibilities and their responsibilities defined. In small businesses, it is often one person who will take responsibility for co-ordinating health and safety.
Specific arrangements that you have within your Company ie: Fire, First Aid, Training, Accident Investigation etc should be documented.
What Is A General Policy On Health & Safety?
This is a statement of your general aims with regard to your employee’s health and safety. (Most people refer to the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974).
What Is The Organisation For Carrying OutTthe Policy?
Overall responsibility for health and safety rests firmly with the highest management. However, ALL individuals within the workforce have to accept a certain duty for health and safety towards themselves and others who might be affected by their acts or omissions.
What Are The Arrangements For Health & Safety?
The arrangements section of your policy should outline how you will meet the commitment you have made in your statement of intent. It should describe the systems you have in place for complying with various regulations, which apply to your business.
Communicate With Your Employees
And finally after you’ve done all of the hard work you must communicate you policy to all employees.
Hopefully, with the above simple steps, you can now revise your existing policy or write one from scratch.
For A Free 15 Minute Audit To See How We Can Help You Evolve Your Team Call Us Today 03330 090 050
Many people dread the thought of a health and
safety inspector visiting their workplace, however if you have been managing
your health and safety risks, there is no need to be concerned.
A health and inspectors’
primary aim is to ensure your workplace meets the required standards to keep
you, your employees and the general public safe.
What Will The Visit Entail?
Health and safety law is enforced
by HSE inspectors or by inspectors from your local authority. Inspectors have the right to enter any
workplace without giving notice and bring the police with them if they expect
an obstruction. On a normal inspection
visit an inspector would expect to look at the workplace, the work activities,
your management of health and safety, and to check that you are complying with
health and safety law.
What Action Can The Enforcing Authority Take?
On finding a breach of health
and safety law, the inspector will decide what action to take. The action will depend on the nature of the
breach. These enforcement measures can
consist of the following:
Notification of contravention – A notification of contravention (NoC) is a document or letter that tells you about health and safety laws you’ve broken. It also explains how you’v broken them. A NoC will tell you what you need to do to stop breaking the law. The inspector will only give you a NoC if they think you are in ‘material breach’ of the law. This means the inspector thinks you have broken the law seriously enough for them to write to you about it.
Improvement notice – Where the breach of the law is more serious, the inspector may issue an improvement notice to tell you to do something to comply with the law. The notice will say what needs to be done, why, and by when. The inspector can take further legal action if the notice is not complied with within the specified time period.
Prohibition notice – Where an activity involves, or will involve, a risk of serious personal injury, the inspector may serve a prohibition notice prohibiting the activity immediately or after a specified time period, and not allowing it to be resumed until remedial action has been taken. The notice will explain why the action is necessary.
Prosecution – In some cases the inspector may consider that it is also necessary to initiate a prosecution. They can prosecute you for breaking health and safety laws or for failing to comply with an improvement notice or a prohibition notice. The courts can fine you or in some cases send you to prison.
If an inspector identifies one
or more material breaches of the law during a visit to your workplace, you will
be required to pay a fee based on the amount of time that the inspector
has spent identifying the breach (currently set at £154 per hour per inspector!)
Health & Safety Compliance Made Simple
Unlike most health and safety consultants we don’t hide behind paperwork and offer generic services, but offer a ‘hands on’ and ‘can do’ health and safety approach by providing jargon free advice which is specific to your company.