Policies & Procedures
Policies & Procedures
All organisations in the UK with five or more employees must have a written health and safety policy.
Organisations with fewer than five employees still need a health and safety policy, although legally it doesn’t need to be written down the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does recommend it in order to assist with compliance and understanding.
All employees within your organisation need to understand their responsibilities and adhere to the health and safety policy and procedures. When a new employee joins the organisation or an existing employee changes their role, employers need to inform them about the policy during their induction training or onboarding to a new position. Employers should also reiterate the policy during toolbox talks or refresher training. Likewise, when health and safety policies and procedures are reviewed, or changes are made to the policy, these must be communicated to all employees.
A well written health and safety policy will show how the organisation protects those who could be affected by its activities.
Under Section 2 (3) of the Health and Safety at Work Act the health and safety policy should:
Set out the employer’s general policy with respect to health and safety
Describe the organisation and arrangements in place for carrying out the policy
Be reviewed as often as appropriate
Addressing health and safety within your organisation should not be seen as a regulatory burden, it offers significant opportunities. Benefits can include:
- Reduced costs
- Reduced risks
- Lower employee absence and turnover rates
- Fewer accidents
- Lessened threat of legal action
- Improved standing among suppliers and partners
- Better reputation for corporate responsibility among investors, customers and communities.
- Increased productivity, because employees are healthier, happier and better motivated.
It is essential for any organisation to have the correct, most-up-to-date health and safety records in place.
In the unfortunate event of an accident in the workplace, the first aspect to come under investigation is typically the review of existing policies and procedures, as well as other health and safety documentation.
Your health and safety policy needs to be brief, with clear, jargon-free language and broken down into bullet points or separate sections for ease of reading. It also needs to be specific to your business, reviewed regularly, displayed in prominent places within your workplace and communicated to all employees in induction training, refresher training and toolbox talks. The policy needs to be signed by the most senior employee in the company, i.e., the Managing Director.