Your Guide to Developing Safety Policy That Works
Did you know that the total number of preventable workplace deaths increased by nine percent in 2021?
In any workplace, the health and safety of employees should always be a top priority.
A comprehensive workplace health and safety policy is essential to guarantee that employees protect themselves from hazards and risks that may arise while carrying out their duties.
But creating an effective policy can be a daunting task, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources. To make things easier for you, we’ve written a safety policy guide. Read on to find out more.
What Is a Workplace Safety Policy?
A workplace health and safety policy is a set of rules and procedures that a company creates. The goal of doing this is to protect its employees from harm or injury.
It outlines the steps that employees should take to ensure their own safety and that of their colleagues while on the job.
This policy helps to prevent accidents and injuries. It does this by identifying potential hazards in the workplace. The best policies also provide guidelines for managing these risks.
For example, a policy might include instructions on how to operate machinery safely. It is also common for businesses to outline steps for handling hazardous materials. It might also require employees to wear protective gear.
A workplace health and safety policy protects the well-being of employees. It also reduces the risk of lawsuits and financial losses.
Every workplace should have a health and safety policy that is regularly reviewed and updated. This ensures that these policies are relevant to the current needs of an organization.
Benefits of Having a Safety Policy
A well-crafted policy can help prevent accidents and injuries. It will also reduce absenteeism and improve employee morale.
It also demonstrates the employer’s commitment to creating a healthy work environment. The policy should outline the roles and responsibilities of employees.
It will also need to break down procedures in place to manage risks. In addition, it should be regularly reviewed and updated.
Not only will a safety policy promote a safe work environment. It will also support legal compliance.
Since organizations with workplace safety policies have fewer accidents, they also save money.
It does not matter if other organizations in your industry don’t have their own safety policies. Once you create one, you will start improving your reputation.
This is because consumers will know that you’ve made commitments to responsible business practices.
Who Needs to Create a Safety Policy?
Every workplace needs to create a workplace health and safety policy to ensure the safety of its employees.
The responsibility for creating and implementing the policy lies with the employer or management team.
But they may seek the help of health and safety professionals or consultants to ensure that the policy is in line with the latest regulations and industry standards.
To create an effective workplace health and safety policy, the person or team responsible for it needs to have knowledge of the potential hazards and risks in their workplace.
It is also essential for them to understand the legal requirements and regulations governing health and safety.
They also need to be familiar with the principles of risk assessment, hazard identification, and emergency preparedness.
Training in occupational health and safety management is highly recommended for those creating the policy. This may include courses on risk assessment, health and safety regulations, and emergency preparedness.
Start Writing Your Policy
To start writing a workplace health and safety policy, you need to follow a few key steps.
Firstly, gather information about the potential hazards and risks in your workplace, and identify the legal requirements and regulations governing health and safety.
Next, involve your employees in the process. Consult with them to get their input on the policy and any potential hazards they may have noticed.
Then, establish clear objectives and goals for the policy, outlining what you hope to achieve and the steps you will take to get there.
Finally, write the policy document, ensuring that it is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Use simple language, avoid technical jargon, and include examples to illustrate key points.
It is important to remember that these policies should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it remains relevant and effective.
Creating a Statement of Intent
A statement of intent is a document that outlines an organization’s goals, and objectives.
In the context of workplace health and safety, a statement of intent would outline a company’s commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.
To create an effective statement of intent, it’s important to consider the specific goals and objectives.
One useful tool for setting and achieving these goals is the use of SMART criteria. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
When creating a statement of intent for workplace health and safety, it should contain the following elements:
- A concise statement of your commitment to workplace health and safety
- A description of your specific safety goals and objectives
- A description of the strategies you will use to achieve these goals
- An explanation of the roles of employees in implementing these strategies
Here are some questions to ask if you want to make sure that your goals are SMART.
Are the objectives clearly defined? For example, does the statement of intent outline specific safety procedures that will reduce workplace accidents?
Will it be easy to measure and track your progress in accomplishing these goals? Make sure that your statement of intent includes a target for reducing workplace accidents.
It should also contain a method for tracking progress toward that target.
Are the goals and objectives realistic for your organization? If you don’t feel like your goals are achievable, consider revising your statement.
Are the objectives relevant to your overall mission and objectives? Take time to make sure that your statement of intent aligns with your workplace’s safety goals.
Are the goals time-bound? Have you identified specific deadlines? It is a good idea to have quarterly or monthly safety procedures. This will decrease the likelihood of workplace accidents.
It is crucial to include a policy responsibility section in your workplace health and safety policy. This section should clearly outline who is responsible for what, and in what situations.
This can help to prevent confusion. This section will help employees to understand what their safety roles are.
Including a section that breaks down specific actions your business will take in relation to workplace injuries is important.
This section will help people understand what steps need to be taken in the event of a workplace injury. This will help to minimize the impact of the injury. It will also ensure that appropriate actions that people need to take.
For example, this section could include specific actions such as:
- Providing immediate first-aid treatment
- Reporting all workplace injuries to a safety officer
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of any workplace injuries
- Providing medical treatment for employees who injure themselves
- Eliminate hazards that contribute to injuries
By outlining these specific actions, you will demonstrate your organization’s commitment to protecting the safety of your employees.
You will also guarantee that everyone knows what to do in the event of a workplace injury. This will minimize the impact of the injury. It will also make sure that people take appropriate action.
Workplace Health and Safety Training Programs
It is essential to create a section in your safety policy that explains what types of safety training programs you have in place. You should also explain how often workers need to update their training certifications.
Here are several types of workplace safety programs you should consider adding to your health and safety policy.
Workplace safety programs should include a process for identifying potential hazards and risks in the workplace. This may involve conducting regular inspections and assessments of equipment.
Your program should also include hazardous waste management training.
It’s important to assess the level of risk associated with workplace hazards. This involves evaluating the potential severity of harm to employees. You’ll also need to teach workers how to mitigate these risks.
Procedures and Controls
Workplace safety programs should outline clear procedures for managing risks. This may include developing standard operating procedures.
It should also involve implementing engineering controls and establishing emergency response plans.
Workplace safety programs should be regularly reviewed. This will involve conducting regular audits and assessments. It is also a good idea to solicit employee feedback.
Make sure to include information on how to properly use, maintain, and store protective equipment.
One important aspect to consider when discussing protective equipment is OSHA requirements. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these requirements.
Keep in mind that there are various 2023 OSHA updates to know about.
New Hire Background Checks
Your safety policy should outline how your business performs background checks for new hires. Here are several things that you should look for when performing background checks.
Education and Training
Your policy should outline guidelines for hiring candidates who have relevant education and training in a specific field or job role for which they are being considered.
If somebody you want to hire does not have sufficient safety training, you should make sure to enroll them in a workplace safety program.
Your safety policy should have a plan in place for checking job candidates’ employment history. You should also make sure that they have not been involved in workplace accidents in the past.
Have a plan in place for conducting criminal background checks. Include a clear statement that makes clear that your company does not hire those who have a history of dangerous behavior.
Consider including drug testing as part of the background check process. You should also include a statement about drug and alcohol use. Make clear what will happen to employees who use substances while they are at work.
Get Feedback on Your Safety Process Policy
It is important to look for ways to improve your health and safety policy. One of the best ways to do this is by getting feedback from co-workers.
This is an ideal way to get different perspectives on your policy. This will also help you make sure that it meets the needs of all employees.
When seeking feedback, you should look for feedback that is constructive and specific. Focus on areas where improvements can be made to prevent falls and other workplace accidents.
For example, you may want to ask for feedback on:
- The clarity and comprehensiveness of your policy
- The ease of use and accessibility of your policy
- The effectiveness of your policy in promoting a culture of safety in the workplace
- The feasibility of your policy in terms of implementing specific safety measures
Share Your Policy
After you create a workplace health and safety policy, you will need to share it. Not only should you print this document out and post it around your workplace.
You should also make sure that all of your organization’s workers have hard copies of their own. Lastly, make sure to send digital copies of this document out to all members of your organization.
Create a Health and Safety Policy Today
There are many great reasons why you should create a health and safety policy for your organization.
Contrary to what many people think, it does not need to be difficult to do this. The most important aspect of a workplace safety policy is a statement of intent.
Do you need help managing your workplace’s safety sheets? If so, we can help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us to get started today!