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Why a Health and Safety Policy is Likely to Soon Need Changes


Introduction

The creation of a health and safety policy is not only a legal requirement in many countries around the world, but also defines the intent of the company in terms of the creation and maintenance of a safe place of work. As well as keeping employees safe within the premises, this also applies to preventing harm coming to the surrounding environment such as air or water pollution, as well as not causing ill-health or injury to anybody living or working in the nearby surroundings.

The health and safety policy will contain vital information such as the main risks that are present, the safeguards and safety features in place, the responsibilities of different groups and individuals, intended targets and objectives regarding health and safety, plus much more. It is therefore a crucial document which plays a key role in the creation of a safe place of work, and one which also does not cause harm to its neighbours and local environment.



An Ever-Changing Workplace will Require Constant Changes to the Policy

Whilst it is therefore so important for the policy to be both comprehensive and accurate when it is created, it will inevitably soon become out of date. This is because the workplace and the processes within it are constantly changing over time. Whether it is a change in the shop floor layout, the substitution of a hazardous substance used in the manufacturing process for a different one, an increase in the number of employees, amendments to health and safety legislation etc... the health and safety policy will soon have sections relating to the old way of working which are no longer applicable. Not only can they no longer be relevant, but they may in fact create additional danger, such as advising people to assemble in an area which is no longer safe in the event of an emergency due to changes to the layout, or stating that certain individuals may be responsible for actions such as fire sweeping, when in fact those people have left the business some time ago.



Conclusion

A health and safety policy will consequently require regular revision and amendments to ensure that the information contained in it is current and accurate. In addition to this, current versions will also need to be communicated properly to employees so that they are aware of the revisions to the document. Having the most thorough and up-to-the-minute health and safety policy will be of little use if nobody is aware of its contents.




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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