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External Influences on a Health and Safety Policy Review

Health and Safety Policies Frequently Change

A health and safety policy is an essential document which is constantly and frequently changing. Workplaces are dynamic environments which are continuously adapting to changes including:

  • Number of people employed
  • Substances and materials used
  • New types of equipment and advances in technology
  • The layout of the shop floor and other buildings on site
  • Health and safety legislative requirements
  • A significant increase in production levels due to increased demand

There is therefore a need to continually review the health and safety policy to ensure that it is still relevant, that it is still fit for purpose, and that it does not contain information which is so out-of-date that it would actually put people at risk because of the changes that have taken place on site since it was written or last revised.

External Influences on a Health and Safety Policy

Along with the management of a business continually reviewing the health and safety policy and making alterations when necessary, there will also be external influences on the company which will have a bearing upon the contents of the health and safety policy aside from the introduction of new - and amendments to existing - health and safety legislation.

One such influence can come from insurance companies. Any litigation claims which come about as a result of inadequate health and safety in the workplace may end up costing the insurance provider a great deal of money. As such, they will want to minimise this possibility as much as they possibly can by advising or insisting upon improvements.

Another external influence is manufacturers of products and equipment. They will understand their goods better then anyone, and so will also know the dangers that they can pose if used, handled or stored incorrectly. Therefore their advice and guidance is well worth listening to.

Sometimes those who are close to the business can become so immersed in it that they fail to see certain issues which can be spotted by a fresh pair of eyes which are external to the company. One such group is customers for those businesses which have members of the public visiting the site on a regular basis. They will often bring issues to management's attention, hopefully before anybody suffers an accident, which may not have been noticed or considered by management as hazardous. Many potential hazards that may be thought of as simple common sense to avoid may still need addressing in order to conform with health and safety legislation.

A company may choose to engage a health and safety consultancy company to perform a review or audit of its health and safety procedures and working practices. Their recommendations will prove to be highly effective when it comes to increasing the overall levels of safety within the business, which will often include making alterations and amendments to the health and safety policy.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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