Updating Your Workplace Health and Safety Policy

Risk Assessment

Don't be investigated by the HSE. Follow some simple tips to stay up-to-date and avoid costly action against your business.

Your workplace health and safety risks are ever-changing. That’s why it’s vital to routinely update your health and safety policy.

Imagine your business is investigated for a breach of health and safety legislation. If your health and safety policy hasn't been updated and an incident occurs, then you could face financial and reputational consequences.

Bollington has previously covered the rising cost of health and safety prosecutions and sentencing guidelines and the HSE Fee for Intervention when inspections take place. None of it makes good reading if you are on the receiving end of it.

Something as simple as getting new equipment or making changes to an operational procedure could drastically alter the hazards present in your workplace—placing your employees at an increased risk of suffering from occupational ill-health or injuries.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to routinely update your organisation’s health and safety policy. That way, you can ensure your workplace health and safety measures will be able to adequately protect employees and help prevent a costly on-site disaster—even as your risks change.

Consider the following guidance when updating your workplace health and safety policy:

  • Talk to your employees. As employees are directly impacted by workplace health and safety procedures, it’s important to speak with them when updating your policy. Employees are more likely to understand why procedures are put in place and follow them if they have been involved in developing health and safety practices in their workplace. In fact, the HSE confirms that workplaces where employees assist in decisions about organisational health and safety experience lower accident rates, better control of on-site risks and a more positive work climate.
  • Identify a competent person. The HSE requires you to get help from a ‘competent person’ to ensure your organisation maintains compliance with health and safety laws. A competent person is someone wtih sufficient experience or knowledge to assist you in addressing workplace health and safety concerns. The level of competence required will depend on your organisation’s characteristics (e.g. size, industry and on-site hazards). You can delegate a competent person from within your organisation or seek external help from a qualified health and safety professional. Bollington can help with this, with our specialist risk management team on-hand to help you with everything from fire risk assessments to full Health and Safety Management. Your competent person will be able to provide valuable guidance as you update your workplace health and safety policy.
  • Review your risk assessment. In addition to identifying a competent person, you have a legal duty to assess your employees’ workplace health and safety risks and implement effective controls through a risk assessment. Specifically, you must conduct a written risk assessment if you employ five or more workers. The information in your risk assessment will allow you to tailor your workplace health and safety policy to address your organisation’s unique needs. Whenever you make routine updates to your risk assessment, your health and safety policy should follow suit. Again, Bollington can assist with this with our expert risk managers available for you if required.

As you update your workplace health and safety policy, it’s important to ensure your organisation also has the right insurance to protect against on-site risks.

Bollington will always be on-hand to help with your insurance arrangements, and we can go the extra mile with bespoke risk management that is tailored to your industry. Call us on 0161 929 1851 for further information on updating your insurances or help with risk management solutions.