Employers are legally responsible for ensuring that employees are protected from harm and that their health and safety are safeguarded.
To meet this obligation, it is essential to prepare a written statement of health and safety policy. The policy statement should clearly set out the aims and objectives of the organisation concerning health and safety. It should also outline quantifiable targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-bound (SMART targets).
Furthermore, the policy statement should not be a meaningless corporate document but should fulfil a genuine role in decision-making. It should be appropriate to the nature and scale of the organisation’s health and safety risks and proportionate to its needs. The organisation’s financial, operational and business needs should also be considered while preparing the policy statement.
Documenting, implementing, maintaining and monitoring the health and safety policy statement is important. In addition, the organisation’s top management, such as the chief executive officer or managing director, should sign the statement to demonstrate their commitment to the health and safety of their employees.
The health and safety policy statement should be communicated to all persons under the organisation’s control and made available to all other interested parties. This includes contractors, visitors, and customers affected by the organisation’s operations.
The health and safety policy statement should be periodically reviewed to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate to the organisation. Any changes in the organisation’s operations or new risks should be considered while reviewing the policy statement.
See below for an example of what we would regard as a good statement document.