Why a Health and Safety Policy is Likely to Soon Need Changes
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so important for the policy to be both comprehensive and accurate when it is created, it will inevitably soon become out of date.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 the health and safety policy will soon have sections relating to the old way of working which are no longer applicable.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.
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.