Health and Safety

Health and Safety is of great importance in any working environment

If you employ five or more members of staff you must have a written health and safety policy.

The policy is your statement of your general policy on health and safety at work and the arrangements for putting this policy into practice. In addition, it ensures you meet all the relevant legal responsibilities of the organisation.

What's the risk of not being compliant?

It’s vitally important that you’re fully aware of your duties and responsibilities in relation to health and safety.

Failure to do so can lead to injury to your employees and an increase in insurance premiums. You could be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with any disciplinary policy, including immediate dismissal.

Moreover, it could result in financial punishment and sometimes even imprisonment. Our solicitors can help you with measures to prevent this and assistance with overcoming the consequences.

Important things to consider

You should know that:
  • a written policy would prove very useful if an Enforcing Office attended your work premises;
  • the Health and Safety legislation is complex and always changing. It is therefore important to seek legal advice pro-actively to ensure your company is currently compliant with the law;
  • it’s important that your employees see the health and safety policy. If the policy is not too long each employee could be given a copy. Alternatively, it could be put on a general noticeboard or included in the staff handbook.

What is a health and safety policy?

Health and Safety document

It is a document which outlines all health and safety policies for the workplace. The document contains:

  • a statement section detailing how you can manage safety;
  • organisational responsibilities and their allocation to employees;
  • information about how employees fit into the overall safety management system;
  • an arrangements sections containing details of how specific activities and functions are managed;
  • risk assessments, display screen equipment and manual handling;
  • consequences of employee non-compliance.

What should be included in the arrangements section?

The arrangements section of a health and safety policy should say how you’ll meet the commitments you have made in your statement of general policy.

It should include information on what you’re going to do to eliminate or reduce the risks of the hazards in your workplace.

A hazard is anything that could cause harm and a risk is the chance of the hazard causing harm. Additionally, arrangements you’ll make to control or minimise the risk is included in this section. For example:

  • staff training
  • using signs to highlight risks
  • improved safety equipment such as personal protective equipment
  • replacing hazardous chemicals
  • improved lighting and the use of anti-slip flooring.
  • fire safety
  • first aid
  • manual handling
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