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Creating a good health and safety policy for your company is important – as we explain in our blog, Putting a health and safety policy together. But, as health and safety is an ongoing concern in business, it should be reviewed at least once a year.
So how should you review your policy, when should you conduct a review, and what does the process involve? This blog explains.
By law, you’re required to have a health and safety policy, and it should be in writing if your business employs five or more people. You have a legal obligation to ensure your policy is up to date, appropriate for your business sector, and meets all legal regulations to help keep your staff safe and prevent accidents from happening. If your policy is to be seen to be out of date, it won’t comply with legal requirements.
Also, your business, and the business world around it, will change: your company will most likely grow; new hazards in your workplace might develop, and changes might be made to the health and safety laws that your company must follow. You should therefore make sure your health and safety policy changes too.
You should carry out a policy review each year to make sure it is effective and complies with current business laws. But you should also conduct a review if you:
Annually, and whenever a change or discovery is made, you should look at your policy and check that it accurately reflects your business in its current form. You should check that the goals you outline in the policy are still being met – for instance, as a result of changes you’ve made to your business – and that your priorities in health and safety are still present, accurate and effective.
You should also look at those areas of your business where changes or discoveries have been made, or an incident has taken place, and conduct a risk assessment. This can include:
It’s important to record your findings from the risk assessment and amend your policy accordingly. You should have already carried out a risk assessment when first putting your health and safety policy together, but a second assessment should be made to check that all current hazards have been identified. You can find out more about how to carry one out in our guide to risk assessment.
Once you’ve conducted your risk assessment and all relevant information has been collated and recorded, you should update your policy to include your new procedures and the key goals you hope to achieve. For instance, the safety checks you’ll start to ensure equipment is continuously safe for your staff use, or the role you’ve created to carry out regular inspections.
It’s important to sign and date the updated policy to show when it was last reviewed. You should then replace your previous policy with the updated version, make all your managers aware of it and make it available to all your staff. This could include displaying a copy in your premises in an area that’s accessible to all employees. Or you could upload it to your company intranet for staff to download and read.
Health and safety is an essential part of running a business and your policy should be observed and updated regularly to keep you and your staff safe. You can learn more about how to make sure your employees are protected in our blog, Providing health and safety for your staff.
With our expert health and safety service, we can give you the tools you need to manage your policy and keep your staff safe, giving you peace of mind and more time to do what you do best – run your business. FSB’s membership service includes:
If you’d like to find out more about this service and how it can help you, please visit our FSB Health and Safety Advice page. The FSB Health and Safety Service is included as standard with our Business Essentials package. Please take a look at our package comparison page to find out about other benefits this package offers.
A dedicated resource destination for Health & Safety advice and news with regularly updated documents written by Health & Safety experts.