Health and Safety Policies
Importance of Health and Safety Policies
Sustaining a healthy and safe working environment is vital to ensuring the well-being of employees and the continued success of any business. Employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment, through the implementation of health and safety policies.
Throughout the page we are going to be discussing the importance of health and safety policies, detailing how our health and safety services will help ensure compliance to health and safety legislation alongside employee safety.
Why are health and safety policies important?
By having health and safety policies in place, businesses should reduce the risk of accidents and improve employee safety by preventing injuries in the workplace. The policies help in identifying and addressing possible hazards, assisting with communicating to employees the possible risks and how to prevent them. Having effective health and safety policies is being proactive and creates a company culture of safety enhancing employee productivity and morale.
Our Health and Safety service
Our Health and Safety Consultants offers a range of services for business of all sizes, including
- Risk assessments
- Policy development
- Unlimited email and phone call support
- Onsite health and safety audits
Businesses have not only a legal requirement to be compliant with health and safety policies but also morally obligated. If a business fails to comply with health and safety requirements it may lead to significant legal and financial penalties. Our health and safety service will help to minimise the risk of this occurring by identifying and tackling possible risks in the workplace, such as auditing manufacturing workshops.
We provide ongoing support helping to keep your business compliant with health and safety including yearly onsite audits.
How our services help ensure compliance
Our experienced Health and Safety Consultants will identify any potential hazards within your business, and from this, they will create policies and procedures to minimise the risk. Where necessary or requested we will provide training on how to make employees aware of potential risks, and how they are minimised, highlighting the policies and how they should be followed.
The unlimited support through emails and phone calls will ensure to keep your business compliant with health and safety policies and procedures.
Understanding Health and Safety Policies
The aim of health and safety policies is to set guidelines and processes within the business ensuring employee safety and welfare, alongside customers, visitors, or anyone else involved in the business. Health and safety policies are primarily used to reduce the risks of accidents, illnesses, or injuries which may occur within the working environment.
The policies are written documents detailing a company’s commitment to providing a safety working environment for employees.
Health and safety policies usually include;
A statement of intent is where the business will communicate its commitment to keeping high health and safety standards alongside the overall aim of attaining a safe working environment.
The responsibilities will be outlined, indicating the roles and responsibilities of people within the business, this includes line managers, employees, and supervisors’ roles in maintaining a safe working environment.
Outlining health and safety procedures and guidelines, going into detail on specific processes and measures in place for health and safety compliance to minimise injuries, accidents, or illnesses.
Manual handling policy
The manual handling policy outlines the procedures that a company must implement when managing risks associated with manual handling activities in the working environment. The policy was developed with the aim of promoting safe practices alongside reducing the risk of employees injuring themselves when carrying out tasks such as lifting, pushing, carrying, or pulling items.
The manual handling policy will detail the steps required to review and mitigate risks, provide training for employees on safe manual handling methods, as well as providing appropriate equipment and tools.
Employees must be made aware of the procedures for reporting and investigating any accidents or incidents that occur, this will include reporting near-misses in relation to manual handling. Keeping the policy and procedures up to date is a critical aspect.
Health and safety at Work Act
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is an essential piece of regulation in the UK, governing the welfare of employees and other stakeholders in the workplace. The act details the overall duties and responsibilities of employers, employers, and other stakeholders for health and safety in the workplace.
Key aspects of the policy include:
- Employer’s role
- Employees’ role
- Role towards non-employees
- General roles of other stakeholders i.e. manufacturers and suppliers.
The act was established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), for Northern Ireland this is HSENI, which is the national regulatory body enforcing health and safety legislation alongside giving guidance on procedures and promoting best practices in the workplace for health and safety.
Importance of health and safety policies
It is vital for companies to have health and safety policies for multiple reasons, such as;
In the UK businesses are required by law to create and sustain health and safety policies in the workplace. If a business is found to be non-compliant of UK health and safety regulations, it may lead to fines and legal penalties, in extreme cases businesses may be forced to close.
A working environment that has health and safety at the forefront promotes positive employee well-being and decreases the risk of long-term health issues, the possibility of injuries, and illness. Work-related stress would fall into this category as employers are legally required to carry out stress risk assessments.
Improves business reputation
A company having strong and dependable health and safety procedures, helps the company to be seen as trustworthy and puts importance on employee safety. This outlook will create stronger relationships with business partners, customers, and the wider community.
A well-executed safety policy will have positive impacts on productivity within a business, especially within manufacturing workshops, due to employees being aware of possible risks and knowing the business has taken steps to reduce the risk to employee safety and health.
Effective health and safety policies will lead to reduced costs for businesses from compensation claims to medical costs and costs relating to employee absences due to illness.
How Health and Safety Policies Help Ensure Compliance
Having policies in place helps ensure health and safety compliance through transparent procedures which are communicated to employees for maintaining a high standard of safety within the work environment. Best practices and expectations should be outlined to managers and employees. Health and safety policies are the stepping point for creating reliable and consistent safety measures in the workplace.
Furthermore, training and guidance should be incorporated alongside the policies promoting compliance with safety legislation. Training employees, it will identify any risks or hazards associated with their work, as well as know how to minimise injuries.
Forming a culture with employee safety front of mind may encourage compliance by promoting positive behaviour and recognising strong safety practices. Lastly, health and safety policies encourage regular health and safety audits ensuring safety measures are maintained accurately combined with identifying possible weaknesses or gaps in compliance.
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