How to carry out a risk assessment
Having a company Health & Safety policy isn’t optional: it’s a legal requirement under the Health & Safety at work act. And if you have five or more employees on your books, it has to be in writing. It’s not just a must-have though, it really does just make good business sense too.
Your workplace Health & Safety policies provide clear communication, promote a cultural uptake for employee safety and enhance employee engagement. It might just seem like a piece of paperwork, but your policy goes a long way to showing employees that you genuinely care about their wellbeing.
Ignoring your obligations can result in far from pretty repercussions. If you don’t have Health & Safety policies in place, you could find yourself facing a fine of up to £20,000 in a Magistrate’s Court and an unlimited fine in the Crown Court.
Want to stay away from unfriendly fines? We don’t blame you. We understand that finding the time to get it right can be tough, and you didn’t go into business to get bogged down by Health & Safety. The good news is, that’s where we come in.
Our experts will prepare bespoke Health & Safety policies for your business. We’ll provide you with an easy way of distributing your policies. We’ll update your policy when needed. And we’ll visit you once a year to review all your documentation.
Simply pop your details into the form below to see just how much we can start helping your business today.
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Your Health & Safety policy sets out your commitment to safe ways of working. Quite simply, it tells employees what you’ll do to protect them, when you’ll do it and how you’ll do it.
Every single business must have a Health & Safety policy in place. As we touched on earlier, if you have five or more employees on your books, to be legally compliant, you must have a written Health & Safety policy.
Although it doesn’t have to be writing if you have fewer than five employees, we’d recommend you still do. Why? Because then you’ll have a clear, written point of reference to refer to – should you need to.
There are several sections within a Health & Safety policy, here’s a brief example of what should be included in each:
|Introduction||Outline the meaning, aims and objectives behind your policy. Within this, you should touch on relevant legislation and information around ongoing implementation, monitoring and review.|
|Health & Safety policy statement||This is your declaration of your business’ commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees. You should disclose the names of people who have appointed responsibilities and the person who has overall responsibility, and make sure each signs and dates the document.|
|Environmental statement||This is where you state your business’ commitment to managing its environmental impact where possible, and outline targets and controls in place to help you achieve this. The individual with overall responsibility should sign and date this section.|
|Safety management structure||A common misconception is that this is your business’ organisational structure – it isn’t. Your safety management structure outlines the tiers of safety responsibility within your business and names all those with appointed duties.|
|Health & Safety responsibilities||This section should reflect and elaborate on the previous section. In-line with your business’ safety culture, you should clearly detail who’s responsible for what – this includes things like the implementation of your policy, provision of appropriate funds and day-to-day monitoring, for example.|
|Individual policies||From access and egress to fire evacuations and x-rays, your individual policies should spell out what each, unique Health & Safety area entails.
Individual policies can be broken down into a description, associated hazards, relevant information, legislation, employer responsibilities and employee responsibilities.
Quite simply, the purpose of a Health & Safety policy is to improve your business’ overall safety and reduce workplace accidents and injuries. There are endless benefits to having a Health & Safety policy in place, but here are just a handful:
Compliance: by staying on the right side of the law, you’ll keep your business out of trouble with enforcing authorities and away from costly fines.
Culture: having a policy in place demonstrates your commitment to keeping your employees safe, which can only benefit your employer-employee relationship.
Fewer incidents: a clear Health & Safety stance ensures everyone knows what’s expected of them, and that safe working practices are followed. Inevitably, this will help to reduce the number of workplace accidents and injuries as well as the risk of employee fatalities.
As well, of course, as protecting employees’ safety, this will reduce sickness absence instances, benefiting you in terms of both time and money.
Recruitment and retention: naturally, people don’t want to work for businesses that don’t care about their workforce. Having a Health & Safety policy will help to harness a caring culture, which will help you to recruit the very best talent – and keep them!
Tangible evidence: having a written policy gives you an unarguable point of reference to fall back on – should you need to. So, if an employee ignores your safety procedures and gets injured as a result, you have tangible evidence outlining both parties’ responsibilities, and that you upheld your end of the bargain.
With our online management platform, Atlas, keeping on top of your Health & Safety policies is a piece of cake. We’ll store your documents digitally for you to easily distribute them to either:
Better yet, Atlas automatically sends Health & Safety policies to new starters, so you don’t need to lift a finger!
For more information on how we can help you and your business with its Health & Safety policies, contact us using the form on this page.
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