Can Your Project or Business Afford Not to Have a Health and Safety Policy and Plan?

If you have a business then having a Health and Safety Policy is essential. You must protect your employees at all times and it is important that you identify to them the standards and expectations of your business when they are employed there.

Whether your business is a construction business or a childcare centre, it does not matter. It is important that you identify the health and safety aspects of working within your company and communicate these expectations to your employees.

Typically, you would have a policy that is included in your procedure manual. This would outline the issues that are important when it comes to health and safety in your workplace. In addition to this a plan is also recommended and is referred to within the policy. These documents are important when it comes to the safety of your employees.

This usually is a detailed document that lists all of the expectations of your employees. It would include items such as the Aim of the policy, the policy itself, the definition of health and safety and accountabilities for members of the organisation.

These documents should be distributed to all areas of the organisation and should be updated on a regular basis. It is also important that the document is not only distributed but also used.

This means implementing the document within your organisation and ensuring people actually follow the guidelines within it. There is no point in implementing these types of policies if they are kept in the cupboard and never read.

These documents are critical to the smooth running and success of your business and it is important that you implement them on a daily basis. You need to make your staff aware of the documents and let them know how to get hold of them should they need to access them.

Creating this type of document can certainly take a considerable amount of time. A great way to save time is to purchase a template and use the template as a base for your own policy.

A template will have a lot of the information already in it and all you will need to do is modify it to suit your business. This is a really great way to save time and money and certainly is a solution if you need to generate a policy quickly for your business.

Get hold of a template today and save significant time and effort.

Health and Safety – What’s That All About?

The Health and Safety Act was put on the statue books in 1974, covering a board spectrum of legislation for employers and employees alike. It was a much needed act and in its original format, it made the workplace a much safer environment, and curtailed many bad working practices. In conjunction with the act the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive were formed to regulate the act, they were later merged together leaving the Health and Safety Executive. This was the beginning of the end for what was so needed to protect the work environment.

More and more legislation has been put in place over the years from when the act became law and in the due process of time we have reached in certain industries, a point where health and safety regulations make it almost impossible to carry out the simplest of tasks.

Having worked for a forklift company for 10 years, I have experienced first hand these at times ridiculous rules put in place by health and safety. The frustration this causes is to say the least annoying, and how difficult it is to carry out simple jobs in the process.

It would seem the people employed by the Health and Safety Executive are no more than jobsworths, with absolutely no idea about the real world and the implications of the regulations they put in place. Common sense is not allowed when it comes to health and safety in the workplace and that is also apparent when it comes to how we live our lives today.

There appears to be a very strong link between the Government and the Health and safety Executive when it comes to common sense and also thinking for yourself. We are fast moving to a point where, we will not be allowed to think for ourselves, THE NANNY STATE.

Now that might seem a touch radical to associate the two together, but over the last ten years the Government has been squeezing are freedom of choice and the Health and Safety Executive have been making it harder and harder to carry out even the simplest of jobs. It almost sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it isn’t, just a conclusion that I have come to as an ordinary member of the public. I have no political loyalties, just a genuine concern for what is happening in this country.

The Health and Safety Executive have bought us to a point where we need to say enough is enough, common sense needs to be bought to the fore and we really need to rethink on how we go forward from here. If this not put in check the system will grind to a halt, or is that the point, that’s for another article. The government needs to come to the party as far as health and safety issues are concerned and be objective, maybe then this ridiculous situation will be resolved.

Health and Safety is a Must in Engineering

It is in everyone’s interest to have a high standard of health and safety of all projects. The project engineer or manager is usually responsible for health and safety recording, or tracking. They may or may not be the workplace health and safety officer. There are usually targets / requirements to be met throughout the project. Often there is reward is the meeting certain targets with zero health and safety incidents. There are many tracking all recording tools available.

There is always room for improvement. Weekly meetings or monthly meetings, should be conducted reporting on any incidents or potential incidents that may occur on this project. It is at that meeting that any improvements may be tabled., and discussed. as the project manager, you are looking out for all design team, construction team, delivery of the project in a safe and orderly manner. Right or wrong, any accident that occurs under your control (your project management) is a reflection on your project management skills. It is then up to you to correct, manage the process of the incident and have it rectified as soon as possible. This ability, will help dissipate any misconceptions about your project management skills. Good project managers implement good health and safety guidelines and methodology well before the project has started, and ensures they are adhered to, usually by way of a “work Place Health and Safety Officer” – also known as a ‘WHOSO’.

Health and safety management is a specialized field, that usually requires further training, especially if you are to become a ‘WHOSO’. The level of training requirements differs greatly depending on which country you are operating in, and the level of supervision you are willing to oversee.

Either way you look at it, Safety is everyone’s business , and we all have the right to go home in exactly the same way we arrived.

Health and Safety Regulations and Contract Cleaning Companies

The discussion around Health and Safety regulations within the Cleaning Industry appears to be a very grey area indeed. Many Cleaning Companies and Employers of Cleaners receive new regulations negatively, seeing these as another way that governments control us, limit freedom and make more money out of businesses. A common attitude is that Health and Safety regulations are simply bureaucratic procedures and more paperwork for the already over-stressed employer. Other Cleaning Companies see new regulations as something that they simply haven’t got the time, money or expertise to implement within their companies. Things that they know they really should be doing concerning Health and Safety get pushed to the back of the pile, as there always seems to be more pressing matters to deal with, such as actually making money for the business!

Many small Cleaning Companies may also believe that Health and Safety regulations do not apply to the type of work they do. Strict Health and Safety regulations are something that applies to huge companies and those who work on construction sites, hospitals, and the like. The Cleaning Industry is a high risk, hazardous industry, and Health and Safety Regulations are there for simply that reason. Regardless of the size of the company, the very nature of cleaning itself means that people are at risk of injury and ill health. It is not only your Employees, but other members of the Public are put at risk by each and every Cleaning operation. The HSE states that over £500 million per year is spent by the work industry from slips and trips alone. To Cleaners themselves, there were over 3500 work related injuries reported to the HSE in the period of 2005-6, of which 700 were major. Many Employers hide behind the belief that insurance should cover any accident or injury, but the truth is that insurance only covers a small part of the costs.

As an Employer you are responsible for ensuring the Health and Safety of every person who may be affected by the work your company will be carrying out. Work related injury and ill health should never be view as just statistics. They affect real people and result in far more damage to individuals than time out of work.

More information will be available in future articles.

Never Underestimate Health and Safety in the Workplace

The statistics on workplace accidents are startling, with over 200 people killed each year in the workplace. By providing quality health and safety training, employers can help reduce this figure.

By law employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy workplace conditions for all of their employees, and ensure that they are fully aware of the importance of health and safety in the workplace and of the necessity of following good working practices. The key areas to be fully trained on in terms of health and safety are health and hygiene at work and accidents and how to prevent them.

Another area of health and safety training that is required is manual handling, which is not only important in protecting the well-being of staff but in preventing absence from work due to damage from incorrect handling, and, in the worse case scenario, in providing due diligence in the event of an ever increasing number of workplace claims.

Fire prevention is another area that is absolutely crucial, and records of what training is provided are required and regularly checked by local authorities and fire services.
How to deal with hazardous substances is another health & safety are that is mandatory to provide to all employees.

Finally, risk assessments are a necessary part of any business these days, and have a key role in highlighting and addressing any health and safety issues that may not have been fully considered.

As well as ensuring that all new staff receive adequate health and safety training, it is important for all employers to remember to continue to refresh their existing teams.

It is worth noting also that legislation changes on an ongoing basis as do the potential hazards and subsequent requirements in any operation so it is necessary that the whole team are working to the same core standards to ensure a safe and happy working environment where health and safety comes as standard.

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