As per law, every company has to comply with all health and safety regulations. Management is responsible for understanding the legal framework and drawing up appropriate management policies. In the absence of a properly formulated policy, an enterprise can bear significant consequences. We will talk about how to write it in this article.
What is Occupational Health and Safety Policy?
An occupational health and safety policy is an accepted set of rules that implies the approach of the company’s management to the health and safety of employees and their security in the workplace. It takes the form of a document that describes various possible situations that pose a danger to company employees, and a plan of action for management and other staff members to prevent them. In addition, it prescribes how the company ensures the safety of its employees.
Such rules indicate the interest of management in creating a safe environment for subordinates.
Who Needs to Create a Policy?
Creating a health and safety policy is a must for any company. From time to time, the summary of rules needs to be re-read and adjusted. An exception is an enterprise with less than 5 employed subordinates, which is an exception in the legislative framework. In such cases, notify all specialists about the rules orally. However, it is better to document the policy. Since documented data is your guarantor under unforeseen circumstances.
In addition, an occupational health and safety policy improves the health of employees within the company and minimizes the possibility of accidents. This, in turn, will lead to high loyalty on the part of subordinates and an increase in their productivity. And when looking for new specialists in the company, this will increase the interest of candidates in getting a job.
But, unfortunately, in practice, everything is a little more complicated. According to HSE statistics, thousands of employees die every year from occupational diseases. All of the above points to a global problem of the complete absence of an occupational health and safety policy or its incorrect drafting.
Note that if the company does not have a document with a health and safety policy for employees, representatives of any authority or HSE can form a management negligence case and take it to court.
How to Write a Health and Safety Policy?
The main task when writing a health and safety policy is to customize all the rules, especially for your business. You should not take generalized examples from the Internet and other areas of business, because it is also against the law. In addition, there are other general rules:
- The policy should not be too long and incomprehensible. So, everyone who undertakes to read it should understand how everything works.
- It is best when the document is a guide. You should not trust this matter to other employees, because during inspections, managers will be responsible for the policy and its observance.
- You should not look for template rules for compiling. The rules can be written in free form but the main thing is to minimize errors and make the text understandable and structured.
Yes, writing a policy seems like a time-consuming process, but it is a necessity that cannot be avoided. When you understand the structure and significance, it becomes easier to work. But if you still don’t know where to start or think that the text is not for you, it’s better to ask professionals from writing services for help. They probably know what and how to write correctly.
The rules should have the following main sections: statement of intent, policy responsibility, and practices followed.
Statement of Intent
This section describes all of the company’s obligations toward employees as part of the Occupational Safety and Health process itself. You can also write here what plans you have for the future in matters of management.
It is important to indicate what goals and objectives the company set for itself in order to achieve the goal and increase the effectiveness of the policy. To facilitate the process, there is a model according to which you can easily prescribe them. It is called SMART, where:
S – specifics;
M – measurability;
A – the possibility of achievement;
R – relevance at the moment
T – timeliness.
The business owner must then review and sign the resulting section. Most often this is the CEO or MD, depending on the size of the company. This will give the policy meaning and show the HSE Commission that it is serious.
Here, it is necessary to describe who and in what situations is responsible for various activities and actions. It is important to indicate names, positions, and duties. Specify everything as detailed as possible so that it is clear who is responsible for what.
Specialists who will be responsible for certain events must proofread the text and put their signatures.
In the last section, it is necessary to indicate the practical actions that will be taken in a particular situation to achieve the goals of objective management.
It is also not worth saving words here, as it is important to prescribe all the measures that are to be carried out to ensure the safety and health of subordinates. It is better to include additional headings to organize the text.
You can include additional sections. For example, a list of persons who have fully read all the rules and their signatures, who are subject to certain regulations, and so on.
Having a safety and health policy in place is a critical step in any business. To write it correctly, it is enough to think about the general set of rules, understand the specifics of the business and the ability to comply with the policy, describe all the intentions and obligations at different levels of management, and model situations with a clear prescription of practical measures. In the end, you will get a weighty argument for both subordinates and the HSE commission, which will be deducted and signed by all company employees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the purpose of a health and safety employee policy?
- The purpose of a health and safety employee policy is to demonstrate an organization’s commitment to the health and safety of its employees.
Q2. Who needs to create a health and safety policy?
- Every company must create a health and safety policy. However, a company with less than 5 employed subordinates is an exception in the legislative framework.
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This article is written by Haley Osborne.
Haley Osborne is an active freelance writer. Her interests are in management, web design, and writing. Regularly touches on the topics of self-development and modern trends. Her goal is to provide quality and inspiring content. You can always reach out to her at GuestPostingNinja@gmail.com in case of any inquiries or suggestions.