It’s important for any business to ensure that it’s considered the health, safety and wellbeing of anyone that’s encountered as part of it’s trading activities, including –
- It’s own staff and the staff of other businesses that it trades with e.g. main and sub contractors, and
- It’s customers/clients including those living in residential as well business properties.
Health and safety in a business begins with the health and safety policy statement which can be described as the ‘beating heart’ of everything that a business needs to do in order to fully consider making the workplace a safe environment.
Do I need a Safety Policy Statement?
Not all businesses require a written health & policy statement.
If you employ five or more peoplethen by law you must have a written health and safety policy statement.
Businesses with fewer than five operatives don’t need to havea written policy statement by lawbut they do need to have considered how safety is going to be integrated into, and dealt with and handled in their business. These businesses with under five operatives who are involved in contract work are also likely to be required to have a written health & safety policy statement as a requirement of being awarded the contract, regardless of what the legislation says.
What is Required in a Policy Statement?
- An opening general statement on the businesses approach to safety (this is usually quite brief)
- An organisation section – outlining key responsibilities in the business for dealing with health and safety
- An arrangements section – outlining in overview how the business intends to put into place the varying facets of health and safety that need to be considered.
The statement should close out with the signature of the person directly responsible for the business e.g.lead director and be dated. The policy should also state the period of time that it is valid for and how often a review of it’s content should take place in order that it remains fully reflective of the current business activities being undertaken. The policy statement should be displayed/made available to those the business comes into contact with, and all staff should be briefed on it’s content.
The health and safety policy then overarches more detailed procedures such as risk assessments that are required in the business – hence the ‘beating heart’ description earlier.
In a nutshell the policy document may be quite complex for a larger business but much smaller at only a handful of pages for a small business.
At APHC we’ve produced detailed guidance on the production and development of a full health and safety system including the policy statement for small/medium plumbing &heating businesses. The system also includes template documentation aimed at the minimising the work for you –
- Policy statement
- Risk assessments
- Monitoring procedures
The health & safety system is freely available for APHC members to download form the members section of our website. If you’re interested in this subject and the many additional benefits that APHC membership brings then please contact one of our membership advisers for a no-nonsense conversation – Click this link to the enquiry form