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that it is still relevant, that it is still fit for purpose, and that it does not contain information which is so out-of-date that it would actually put people at risk because of the changes that have taken place on site since it was written or last revised.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.