A quick guide to Health and Safety Policies
A Health and Safety Policy is a prerequisite for any supplier in the construction industry. Despite the excellent efforts being made, the construction industry remains a sector where H&S could still be improved.
All Health and Safety policies should be easy to read and publicly available or available on demand.
The following basic requirements follow the guidance of the Health and Safety Executive.
A basic policy should seek to:
- Provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from company activity
- Consult with employees on matters affecting their health and safety
- Provide and maintain safe plant and equipment
- Ensure safe handling and use of substances
- Provide information, instruction and supervision for employees
- Ensure all employees are competent to do their tasks, and to give them adequate training
- Prevent accidents and causes of work-related ill health
- Maintain safe and healthy working conditions
- Review and revise the policy as and when required
Policies should look to meet all requirements of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.
To go beyond a basic policy a supplier may want to extend their policies to cover:
- A commitment to report ‘near misses’ as well as reportable accidents
- A structured approach to holding health and safety meetings and reviews
- Setting targets for reducing ‘lost time accident frequency rates’
- A wider approach to wellbeing such as drugs or drink policies
- Addressing issues outside the workplace in relation to health and wellbeing
- Working with wider stakeholders clients, industry bodies etc. to address Health and Safety issues
Example policy www.balfourbeatty.com/bby/siteware/health-safetypolicyjan09.pdf
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