Do you need a health and safety policy?

December 10th, 2018 By Marketing

When it comes to occupational health and safety, responsibilities and policies vary greatly from business to business. We take a look at what is meant by health and safety at work, why it’s important and what a health and safety policy might look like for you.

What is the Health and Safety at Work Act?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the legal framework that promotes health and safety in workplaces across Great Britain. The Act, in its entirety, is available here.

Why is health and safety in the workplace so important?

According to the Labour Force Survey 555,000 injuries occurred at work across Great Britain between 2017/2018. So, the need for a robust health and safety process is more important than ever.

In addition to your legal and ethical responsibilities, the loss of revenue caused by injuries and other health and safety-related incidents is considerable. The HSE reports that 3.9 million working days were lost in 2017/2018 for non-fatal injuries across Great Britain and a further 26.8 million for work-related ill health. Add the potential negative impact of damage to property or facilities and you’re unlikely to need further motivation to get your health and safety ducks in a row.

On a more positive note, consider the benefits to both your business and your staff when you provide a safe, happy and healthy workplace. In competitive times, increased productivity, improved service provision, reduced staff turnover and cultivating a reputation for providing an ethical and supportive working environment are all welcome accolades for your business.

Do you need a health and safety policy?

If you employ more than five people, the short answer is yes, you do need a documented health and safety policy. But even if you don’t have over 5 employees, there’s a strong argument for having documentation in place, should an incident occur.

How do you develop a health and safety policy?

Your policy should clearly set out your strategy and goals for ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for both your employees and any visitors to the business. You should also document agreed, specific responsibilities for staff members and include relevant contact information.

After conducting the necessary risk assessments, you need to document the processes and procedures in place for controlling and mitigating risk throughout your business.

All information must be clearly written, current and easily accessible by all members of staff. It should be tailored to the specific requirements of your business. You can find an example of a health and safety policy on the HSE website.

What is ISO 45001 and how does it relate to health and safety at work?

Published on 12th March 2018, ISO 45001 is the world’s first International Standard for occupational health and safety. It seeks to help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses, globally.

What does ISO 45001 mean for your company?

ISO 45001 is designed to help businesses of all sizes, and from all sectors, to effectively integrate health and safety processes throughout their operations and supply chain. Adopting the new standard clearly demonstrates a commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees.

For more information on how ISO 45001 can benefit your staff, download our free guide.

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