The following checklist is intended as an aid to the writing and review of a safety policy. It is derived from the booklet Writing a safety policy statement published by the HSE in booklet HSC 6.

General policy and organization
➤ Does the statement express a commitment to health and safety and are your obligations towards your employees made clear?
➤ Does it say which senior manager is responsible for seeing that it is implemented and for keeping it under review, and how this will be done?
➤ Is it signed and dated by you or a partner or senior director?
➤ Have the views of managers and supervisors, safety representatives and of the safety committee been taken into account?
➤ Were the duties set out in the statement discussed with the people concerned in advance, and accepted by them, and do they understand how their performance is to be assessed and what resources they have at their disposal?
➤ Does the statement make clear that co-operation on the part of all employees is vital to the success of your health and safety policy?
➤ Does it say how employees are to be involved in health and safety matters, for example, by being consulted, by taking part in inspections, and by sitting on a safety committee?
➤ Does it show clearly how the duties for health and safety are allocated and are the responsibilities at different levels described?

➤ Does it say who is responsible for the following matters (including deputies where appropriate)?

– reporting investigations and recording accidents
– fi re precautions, fi re drill, evacuation procedures
– fi rst aid
– safety inspections
– the training programme
– ensuring that legal requirements are met, for example, regular testing of lifts and notifying accidents to the health and safety inspector.

Arrangements that need to be considered
➤ Keeping the workplace, including staircases, floors, ways in and out, washrooms, etc. in a safe and clean condition by cleaning, maintenance and repair
➤ The requirements of the Work at Height

➤ Any suitable and suffi cient risk assessments.

Plant and substances
➤ Maintenance of equipment such as tools, ladders, etc. Are they in a safe condition?
➤ Maintenance and proper use of safety equipment such as helmets, boots, goggles, respirators, etc.
➤ Maintenance and proper use of plant, machinery and guards.
➤ Regular testing and maintenance of lifts, hoists, cranes, pressure systems, boilers and other dangerous machinery, emergency repair work, and safe methods of doing it.

➤ Maintenance of electrical installations and equipment.
➤ Safe storage, handling and, where applicable, packaging, labelling and transport of dangerous substances.
➤ Controls of work involving harmful substances such as lead and asbestos.
➤ The introduction of new plant, equipment or substances into the workplace by examination, testing and consultation with the workforce.

Other hazards
➤ Noise problems – wearing of hearing protection, and control of noise at source
➤ Vibration problems – hand-arm and whole-body control techniques and personal protection
➤ Preventing unnecessary or unauthorized entry into hazardous areas
➤ Lifting of heavy or awkward loads
➤ Protecting the safety of employees against assault when handling or transporting the employer’s money or valuables
➤ Special hazards to employees when working on unfamiliar sites, including discussion with site manager where necessary
➤ Control of works transport, e.g. fork lift trucks by restricting use to experienced and authorized operators or operators under instruction (which should deal fully with safety aspects).

➤ Ensuring that fi re exits are marked, unlocked and free from obstruction
➤ Maintenance and testing of fi re-fi ghting equipment, fire drills and evacuation procedures
➤ First aid, including name and location of person responsible for fi rst aid and deputy, and location of fi rst aid box.

➤ Giving your employees information about the general duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act and specifi c legal requirements relating to their work.
➤ Giving employees necessary information about substances, plant, machinery, and equipment with which they come into contact.
➤ Discussing with contractors, before they come on site, how they plan to do their job, whether they need any equipment from your organization to help them, whether they can operate either in a segregated area or only when part of the plant is shut down and, if not, what hazards they may create for your employees and vice versa.

➤ Training employees, supervisors and managers to enable them to work safely and to carry out their health and safety responsibilities efficiently.

➤ Supervising employees so far as necessary for their safety – especially young workers, new employees and employees carrying out unfamiliar tasks.

Keeping Check
➤ Regular inspections and checks of the workplace, machinery appliances and working methods.

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