A safety policy speaks about the safety culture in business. It highlights how and who is to take care of the safety of its employees. It is a written acknowledgment of its commitment to the safety of people working within and outside the organization.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it is mandatory for employers to create and execute a safety policy. Merely creating the policy is not enough. It requires commitment and endorsement from the employer and buy-in from the employees. Commonly, there are three sections to a safety policy:
- Statement Of Policy
Statement Of Policy – The employer’s commitment to the safety of employees.
Responsibility – Should mention who is responsible for implementing and legislating the policy.
Procedures – State the procedures to be followed to avoid and on happening of a safety hazard.
In addition to these, it may include the following clauses:
- Safety Training
- Use of Safety Equipment
- Use of Personal Protective Equipment
- Prevention of Hazards
- Handling of Hazardous Materials
- Improving Safety in Workplace
Objectives of Safety Policy
There are several objectives behind a safety policy, but the primary objective is to provide safety to the employees. In addition to these, the policy has the following objectives:
- Provision of a safe and healthy workplace for employees
- Reduce the number of accidents that happen in the workplace
- Improving morale
- Reducing absenteeism from work
- Protecting your business from potential legal action
Importance of Safety Policy
Every organization should have a clear policy for managing health and safety so that everyone related to the organization is aware of its goals and objectives with regard to health and safety, as well as how those goals and objectives are to be achieved. A policy to be effective must be followed to letter and spirit. A good health and safety policy will benefit the business in addition to improving health and safety, helping in the personal growth of the workforce, and minimizing financial losses. A clearly defined safety policy is an indicator of the firm’s concern for the health of its employees. This leads to an increase in morale and, ultimately, increased productivity.
Ways to Improve Safety In Workplace
- Invest in risk management systems. Prevention is better than cure, and the focus must be on preventing injuries from happening.
- Rule from the top down. If top management conveys that health and safety are essential to your company, employees are considerably more inclined to become involved and follow the rules. Actively dissuade bad habits like taking chances to save time or effort.
- Improve safety by providing employees with timely training.
- Involve employees in risk assessment. Employees are the best assessors of risk as they are directly involved in the work.
- Put in place a health and safety management system. This should include an overall strategy outlining your commitment, roles assigned to specific people, and plans outlining how you will really manage your risks.
Review Of Health and Safety Policy
The safety policy must be monitored and reviewed regularly for the following reasons:
- Significant organizational changes may have occurred,
- There have been changes in key personnel;
- Changes in legislation
- Change in existing work methods
- Introduction of new machinery/material
- There has been a huge gap since the last training was held.
- Manufacturers/ Insurance providers have advised to do so.
There is no one safety policy that applies to all organizations because each one has unique characteristics, environmental conditions, and regulatory frameworks. The creation of a safety policy, which serves as the foundation for further implementation measures, must therefore follow a disciplined procedure before it can be put into action.