How to develop health and safety policy. A health & safety policy is a document written statement by an employer. In the policy, it is stated by the company’s or employer’s commitment towards the protection of the health & safety of the workers or employees and to the public. Health and safety policy is an endorsed commitment by the senior management to its employees regarding their health & safety. learn in this topic how to develop health and safety policy.
How to develop health and safety policies developing Occupational Health and Safety Programs and Policies. A health & safety policy is a document written statement by an employer. In the policy, it is stated by the company’s or employer’s commitment towards the protection of the health & safety of the workers or employees and to the public. Health and safety policy is an endorsed commitment by the senior management to its employees regarding their health & safety. learn in this topic how to develop health and safety policy.
The Health and Safety Policy is delivered as per Section 2 (3) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The Health and Safety policy is comprised of four parts:
Part 1 – The Statement of Intent & policy objectives;
Part 2 –How the duties & responsibilities are assigned for achieving the objectives set out in part 1;
Part 3 –Related policies and the procedures for implementing the Health & Safety Policy;
Part 4 – Arrangements for measuring, monitoring & reviewing the organization’s performance in relation to health and safety.
Example of a Health & safety policy is as follows:
Definition of Safety program:
A health & safety program contains the health & safety elements of a company or an organization, objectives that make it possible for the company or an organization to achieve its goal in the protection of its employees at the workplace.
Section 4. (1) of the Occupational Health & Safety Regulations specifies that the minimum requirements which need to be contained in a health & safety program are Some of the requirements specified in the regulation may not be applicable to every organization’s workplace.
However, every employer will have to carry out their own health & safety risk assessment, in consultation with the occupational health & safety committee of that specific organization, to determine what hazards are present at that specific workplace. Once the hazards are identified, controls for exposure to those identified hazards should be detailed in the health & safety program. See also this How safety officers can save themselves from the court in case of an accident
Reasons for Health & Safety Programs or Policies in the Workplace
There are a number of reasons why the workplaces need to have a health & safety policy/ program, this includes the following:
- To demonstrate management’s commitment clearly to their employee’s health & safety;
- To show employees that safety performance and business performances are compatible;
- To clearly state the organization’s safety beliefs, objectives, principles & strategies, and processes to build buy-in throughout all the levels of the organization;
- To clearly outline employee and employer responsibility & accountability for workplace health & safety;
- To comply with the Occupational Health & Safety Act;
- To set out safe work procedures & practices to be followed to prevent workplace illnesses & injuries. See also this what is incident and accident investigation and analysis
Rules for the Application of Health & Safety policies and Programs
The Occupational Health & Safety Act 1974 and Regulations apply to all employers, employees, & self-employed persons. Employers with less than 10 employees are required to have an occupational health & safety policy in place while employers with 10 or more employees are required to have an occupational health & safety program in place.
How to Develop a Health & Safety Policy/Program
The development of a health & safety policy/program is the responsibility of the employer of the organization. However, for a policy/program to be successful & accepted, it will need the commitment and endorsement of the employees.
Therefore, it is critical to involve the employees in the early stages while developing a policy/program. This would include but is not be limited to, the employees’ health & safety representative or the occupational health & safety committee of the organization.
Requirements for Policy/Program Review or Revisions
The legislation stipulates that the health & safety policy is to be reviewed on an annual basis, and where required, updated in consultation with the employees’ health & safety representative. The policy should also be reviewed & revised whenever there is an operational or hierarchical change (organizational change).
The legislation stipulates that the health & safety program is to be reviewed and revised at least every 3 years. likewise, a review is required to be undertaken whenever there is a change of circumstances that may affect the health & safety of employees, or where an officer makes such a request to review. The review of the policy/program should be done in consultation with the occupational health & safety committee.