REVIEW OF HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY OF AN ORGANIZATION BASIC INFORMATION AND TUTORIALS

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE REVIEW OF HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY OF AN ORGANIZATION?


It is important that the health and safety policy is monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. For this to be successful, a series of benchmarks need to be established.

Such benchmarks, or examples of good practice, are defined by comparison with the health and safety performance of other parts of the organization or the national performance of the occupational group of the organization.

The Health and Safety Executive publish an annual report, statistics and a bulletins all of which may be used for this purpose. Typical benchmarks include accident rates per employee and accident or disease causation.

There are several reasons to review the health and safety policy. The more important reasons are:
➤ signifi cant organizational changes have taken place
➤ there have been changes in personnel
➤ there have been changes in legislation
➤ the monitoring of risk assessments or accident/ incident investigations indicate that the health and safety policy is no longer totally effective
➤ enforcement action has been taken by the HSE or

Local Authority
➤ a suffi cient period of time has elapsed since the previous review. A positive promotion of health and safety performance will achieve far more than simply prevent accidents and ill-health. It will:
➤ support the overall development of personnel
➤ improve communication and consultation throughout the organization
➤ minimize fi nancial losses due to accidents and illhealth and other incidents

➤ directly involve senior managers in all levels of the organization
➤ improve supervision, particularly for young persons and those on occupational training courses
➤ improve production processes
➤ improve the public image of the organization or company.

It is apparent, however, that some health and safety policies appear to be less than successful. There are many reasons for this. The most common are:

➤ the statements in the policy and the health and safety priorities are not understood by or properly communicated to the workforce
➤ minimal resources are made available for the implementation of the policy
➤ too much emphasis on rules for employees and too little on management policy
➤ a lack of parity with other activities of the organization (such as fi nance and quality control) due to mistaken concerns about the costs of health and safety and the effect of those costs on overall performance. This attitude produces a poor health and safety culture
➤ lack of senior management involvement in health and safety, particularly at board level
➤ employee concerns that their health and safety issues not being addressed or that they are not receiving adequate health and safety information. This can lead to low morale amongst the workforce and, possibly, high absenteeism
➤ high labour turnover
➤ inadequate personal protective equipment
➤ unsafe and poorly maintained machinery and equipment
➤ a lack of health and safety monitoring procedures.

In summary, a successful health and safety policy is likely to lead to a successful organization or company.

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