a. Does the company have a written Health and Safety Policy
b. Does the Policy summarise the safety management system?
c. If the company is part of a group of companies, does the Policy have a group commitment in it?
d. Is the Policy signed by the Chief Executive, and dated?
e. Is it publicised and available to all employees?
a. Employers with five or more employees, must have a written health and safety policy statement.
b. Every employer must have arrangements (the safety management system, SMS) to implement the policy. These are arrangements for planning, organising, controlling, monitoring and reviewing safety (MHSW Regs), which should be documented for employers of five or more persons. A summary and source reference should be given.
c. This is not a specific requirement in safety law. Nevertheless ultimate responsibility for safety rests with the most senior management. Some statement of general commitment should be included.
d. This is not a specific requirement in law. However if signed by the Chief Executive on site, appropriate authority is given to the document. The dating of the document assists with review.
e. The statement must be brought to the attention of employees (HASWA). This can be by individual issue, placing on the notice boards or by other appropriate means.
a. Does the Policy explain how the company deals with health and safety issues?
b. Are posts with specific safety responsibilities (including emergency response) identified?
c. Does the Policy identify competent person(s)?
d. Does it outline
the approach to health and safety training on recruitment, and the introduction of new equipment, or ways of working?
e. Does it make reference to the general duties of employees, managers and directors?
f. Does it make reference to the provision of health and safety information to employees?
g. Does it describe the procedures for consultation with employees on safety matters?
a. Does the Policy make reference to the assessment and control of risks?
b. Does it make reference to the procedures for serious and imminent danger (response to fire, major release of chemical, collapse of structure)?
c. Does it make reference to arrangements for contact with the emergency services?
d. Does it make reference to co-operation in respect of safety of shared premises, if appropriate?
e. Does it make reference to any special arrangements for ensuring the safety of visitors, contractors and temporary employees, including those of an employment agency?
f Does it make reference to the control of any of the company's activities that may affect the general public?
• The control of risk requires all activities relevant to the management of health and safety to be identified and planning to achieve the implementation of risk controls. The planning function should ways of eliminating hazards and ways of reducing risks by the use of physical controls, or as a last resort, through systems of work and personal protective equipment. The policy should identify those activities that require managing (the health and safety programme) and summarise the arrangements for developing and implementing standards appropriate to each activity.
• Planning should address hazard identification and risk assessment.
• Planning should address design and construction of plant/equipment including procurement.
• Planning should address the design of tasks, processes, products and services.
• Planning should address safe systems of work and maintenance of plant.
• Planning should address management of change to plant process and staff.
• Planning should address the control of non-employees.
• Planning should address procedures for responding to serious and imminent danger.
• Planning should address co-operation with neighbours and contractors.
• Planning should ensure that the requirements of relevant health and safety regulations are incorporated into the safety management standards.
• Planning should address the setting of health and safety targets for managers and supervisors.
a. Does the Policy make reference to safety inspections, audits, incident and accident investigation and follow up?
• Monitoring health and safety performance is essential to provide management with information about the effectiveness of the SMS. The policy should summarise the arrangements for both active and reactive monitoring.
• Active monitoring involves regular measurement of performance against safety management standards and targets.
• Active monitoring utilises several separate, but complementary methods such as safety inspections, safety tours (by middle and senior management) safety surveys and safety audits (including SMS audits).
• Reactive monitoring involves the reporting and investigation of incidents and accidents, whether these relate to people, process, property or any combination of these.
• The results of both types of monitoring should identify inadequacies in risk control and be used to improve this.
a. Is the Policy and organisation reviewed at senior management level each year and updated where necessary?
b. Is there a mechanism for recording of the review results e.g. in an annual report?
c. Is there a system for ensuring action identified in the review is completed?
a. A review of the SMS enables senior management to learn from experience and improve an organisation's health and safety record (middle management are assumed to be involved in review of local safety management arrangements under their direct control). The policy should summarise the SMS review arrangements.
b. The review takes the results of monitoring activities, changes to legislation, information from other industries, technical developments etc. and evaluates them to identify what changes to the system, if any, are required.
c. Changes to some (policy, organisation planning and control etc.) or all of the SMS elements may be necessary. Agreed changes are recorded on an action plan. Another important function of the review is the tracking and completion of actions.
1. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations,
Approved Code of Practice and Guidance, L21, HSE 2000, ISBN 0
7176 2488 9.
2. Managing Health and Safety: Five Steps to Success, INDG275 HSE 1998.
3. Successful Health and Safety Management, HS(G)65, HSE 1997, ISBN 0 7176 1276 7.
4. Directors' responsibilities for health and safety, INDG343, HSE 2001.
5. Health and Safety Organisation, KDL11, available from KDLI Publications (Tel: 0161 624 9749) or from the Knitting Industries Federation Ltd. (Tel: 0116 254 1608).