Health and Safety law posterThe Health and safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) requires that all employers have a Safety Policy. The HSWA states the policy should comprise of three main parts:

1. A written statement of the company’s general policy concerning health and safety, usually known as the ‘General Policy Statement’

2. The basic organisation to carry out the intention of the policy (i.e. who is responsible for what). This is commonly referred to as the ‘Organisational Arrangements’

3. The ‘arrangements’ (or specific policies and procedures) necessary to ensure that the good intentions of the General Policy Statement is put into practice at ‘shop floor’ level

The Health and Safety Policy in practice

The most important part of the safety policy is the arrangements. These health and safety procedures should cover those higher risk activities which are directly relevant to your employees, and to be effective should be in a form that can be trained out and understood.

The Safety Policy should be a living document, which may need to be revised in the light of new knowledge and experience (e.g. of unsafe ‘shortcuts’ or near misses).

An effective, risk focused safety policy implemented by management will improve a company’s safety culture, reduce risks and improve your ability to effectively defend civil claims.

Whether you are a small company looking for their first health and safety policy, or a large multi-site organisation requiring a review of their existing Safety Management System, please contact me so that we can discuss your requirements.