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How to develop an effective Health and Safety Policy

In 1974 a new act was introduced to help reduce the amount of accidents that occur in the workplace.

It is called the Health and Safety at Work act and covers all types of businesses and places of work. This means that it is important to have a good health and safety policy place to ensure that everyone will adhere to the act. Not all businesses are the same so each will need to address different issues in order to produce a policy; but there are some basic things to consider in a policy that are almost universal regardless of the workplace environment.

Make it as short and concise as possible

It is important that all your staff are able to read and understand the health and safety policy. If your policy spans several pages then it is highly unlikely that people will have the motivation to read or understand it. In putting the policy together you will need to spend some time ensuring that it is as short and concise as it can be. The best policies are one page documents that get straight to the point.

Base the policy on the company’s principles

Rather than developing a policy like a list of rules that staff have to follow, good health and safety policies should be based on principles. Making statements such as “it is the company’s belief” will help to instil the ideas of the policy into the workers' minds while making them feel that they are being included in the company’s principles.  

Review and update constantly

Many workplace environments are constantly changing. This may be due to internal and external factors. For that reason a health and safety policy can quickly become outdated. It is important to review you policy periodically to ensure that it still relevant and that staff are reminded about its existence.