The Health and Safety policy is a well structured and organized document which highlights the organization stands on Health and Safety (HSE). HSE policy is indispensable for every organizations that has the foresight to achieve a good health and safety identity. HSE policy is for all organization; construction companies, oil and gas companies, mining companies, textile, manufacturing, agricultural, educational institutions (Schools), ICT, power, etc.
HSE policy is a well structured document. It is made up of three (3) parts; the general statement of intent, organisation and arrangement (rules/procedures).
Some people mistake the Health and Safety policy to be just the statement of intent. That is why some persons call it Health and Safety policy and procedures. This is a wrong understanding, as the Health and Safety policy covers all areas of the policy.
Who needs the Health and safety policy?
As earlier stated, the Health and Safety policy is for every organisation that desires to achieve the best in business. Remember: Health and Safety may not make money for you, but it will save money for you. Adoption of a good Health and Safety structure which begins with a good health and safety policy is starting point for every successful business.
Is health and Safety policy for employees alone?
Health and safety policy is a legal document which is for all members of the organization. Ranging from top/senior management to the least worker, since achievement of the Health and Safety objectives is a collective responsibility.
Parts of the Health and safety policy
Statement of intent:
The HSE statement of intent or policy statement is a general statement which addresses the organization stands on Health and Safety. Its aims to introduce any one that comes in contact with the HSE policy the position of the organization with regards to Health and Safety. The statement of intent should be written in simple and comprehensive language for proper understanding. It should be properly dated and signed by the most senior personality in the organization. Without appropriate signature and date, the document is not considered valid.
This part of the Health and Safety policy tends to allot responsibilities to persons and groups within the organization; it also help establish a line of communication within the organization. These individuals/groups include the directors, managers, supervisors, HSE specialist, and other specialist within the organization.
Arrangement (Rules and Procedures):
This is the last part of the HSE policy. This area accommodates measures that could be adopted to achieve the Health and Safety objectives. Some of these measures could include: Induction for new staff/Contractors, Staff training, Accident/Incident investigation and reporting module, Risk assessment/JSA requirement/Permit to work procedures, Emergency management plan, Substance abuse policy, etc. All these rules and procedures tighten the Health and Safety system which will help in achieving the Health and Safety objectives.
See the guide on how to draft a good health and safety policy here
The HSE policy will just be a document on paper if it is not communicated. Hence, after writing a good health and safety policy, it must be communicated to all employees.