Health and Safety in the Workplace

Writing a Health & Safety Policy from scratch
Any organisation with five or more employees is legally required to have a written Health & Safety Policy (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 section 2(3)). It shouldn’t be a complicated document but it does need to be a concise summary, stating how your business manages safety.

If you’re thinking about writing your own Health and Safety Policy there are a few things you’ll need to consider. Your Policy should clearly set out how you manage Health and Safety, who is responsible and when things must be done. Starting a policy from scratch isn’t easy, particularly if you haven’t written one before and you don’t have access to professional advisors.

Some of the things you need to consider are:

* A general statement
* Responsibilities
* Health and safety risks
* Consultation with employees
* Safe plant and equipment
* Safe handling and use of substances
* Information, instruction and supervision
* Competency for tasks
* Accidents, first aid and work related ill health
* Monitoring – accidents and work related sickness
* Emergency procedures

Updating an existing Health & Safety Policy
Once a Health and Safety policy has been written it’s important that it’s regularly reviewed and not just left on the shelf. This should be done whenever changes occur within the business and on a regular basis (at least annually).

Examples of when a Health and Safety Policy will need reviewing include:

* If the work process changes
* At the introduction of new technology or equipment
* When any organisational changes occur
* When Changes in legislation occur

Health & Safety in your Workplace
The HSE website advises: “It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, and other people who might be affected by their business”, and that “the employer must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.”

Good management of workplace safety represents not only good business practice, but also it can improve both performance of staff and the business in general. Unfortunately whilst complying and keeping pace with statutory change is extremely time consuming – especially given the growth of the compensation culture – it is essential to ensure you are not left exposed in the event of an accident or injury in your workplace.

Guide to LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations)
Your obligations as an employer
The LOLER Regulations aim to reduce risks to people’s Health and Safety from lifting equipment provided for use at work. To further complicate matters, any lifting equipment used is also subject to the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).
LOLER – requirements of LOLER

The LOLER Regulations require that equipment used is strong and stable enough for the particular use and marked to indicate safe working loads, positioned and installed to minimize any risks. Unfortunately though without Health and Safety Experts in-house, it’s difficult to know where to start.

Health and Safety advisors and consultants providing cost-effective risk management.

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