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W e d n e s d a y, 1 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 4

Element 2

The purpose and importance of a health and safety policy

The role of the health and safety policy in decision making:
The health and safety policy of an organization is an important document that sets out the organizations aims with
regards to health and safety, who is responsible for achieving these aims and how the aims are to be achieved.

What are the aims of Health and safety policy?


Legal compliance


Clear communication

2. Meeting the requirement of management system standards

4. Continuous improvement

What are the three key elements of health and safety policy?
A policy is presenting in three sections:

General statement of intent

2. Organization

3. Arrangements

General Statement of intent:

This states the organization philosophy in relation to management of health and safety.

This section indicates the chain of commands for health and safety management identifies roles

This section outlines the arrangements that exist for effective management of health & safety

Note: there is no one correct format or set of content for health and safety policy.

Key features and content of a health and safety policy:


General statement of intent

2. Organization

3. Arrangement

General statement of intent

The statement of intent will usually recognize that manager and workers at all levels within the organization have a
part to play in implementing policy and also state that every person must comply with the policy and that negligence
of policy may be treated as disciplinary offence.
The general statement of intend should signed by the person in charge of overall organization like CEO, MD. The
statement should also be dated. This indicates when current statement was prepared.


Meeting legal obligations

Provision of a safe workplace, safe equipment and safe system of work, Information, training and supervision

Risk assessment of all relevant workplace activities

Performance monitoring

Provision of adequate resources such as expert health and safety advise

Effective communication and consultation with workers.

The statement of intent may also set target for the organization to achieve. Possible targets might be related to:

Accident rates

Active monitoring

It outlines the chain of command for health and safety management and identifies the roles and responsibilities of
staff. It is standard practice for this section to include an organization chart showing the lines of responsibility and
accountability. This chart also show the lines of communication and the feedback routes that exist within the

This section reflects the management hierarchy of organization and allocates

CEO or Managing Director
Is responsible and accountable for the entire organization

Management at All Level

Is responsible for ensuring all safety measure are in place and being carried out effectively.

All employees
Are responsible for acting safely at site

Competent Persons
Who have operational duties but are also considered competent to carryout one ore more health and safety duties
like first aiders and fire marshals etc.

Specialist health and safety practitioners:

Responsible for providing advice to support management and employees to achieving safety

General health and safety management Arrangements:

The section deal with general arrangements in policy that exist to manage health and safety
General health and safety management arrangements:

Carrying out risk assessments


Identifying and supplying health and safety information instructions and training.


Compliance monitoring including auditing


Accident and near miss reporting, recording and investigation


Consultation with workers on safety matters


Developing safe system of work and permit to work system


Emergency procedures and first aid provision.

Reviewing Policy:
Circumstances which might require a review of policy:
Policy should be review regularly so it remains current and relevant. However there are some circumstances which
could give rise to reviews:

Changes to key personnel e.g. new CEO or MD.


Changes to the management structure of the organization


A management take over


Changes to the type of work that the organization does.


Recommended by safety audit.


Requested by a third party such as insurance company or client