If you employ more than five employees, you must have a written health and safety policy in place but is it a case of once written it lasts an eternity? Also if it does need reviewing, how often should your health and safety policy be updated?
Is it time to update your H&S policy?
There is not, you may be surprised to find, a set time limit for when health and safety policies should be reviewed and updated. Instead, your health and safety policy and procedures should be responsive to your business and any changes that occur.
So when should you update your health and safety policy?
You will need to update when there are significant changes, examples of which would include;
- Moved premises
As a growing business, you’ll be expanding and that includes a change in premises or additional workspaces such as warehouses or offices. When the environment in which your employees operate changes, you should update your health and safety policy to take into account hazards and risks.
- New equipment
Replacing obsolete equipment with more efficient models makes sense but did you know this impacts on your health and safety policy? New equipment may negate many hazards but bring different ones to the environment and employees. You should update your policy in this instance.
- It’s been a long time since the policy was looked at, let alone updated
Clearly, time is an issue too. There is no set time limit but reviewing your H&S policy every twelve months at least should be a fixed point on your calendar.
- You hire more staff (temporary or permanent)
If your pool of employees is expanding, your policy needs to expand too. This is true whether you make permanent appointments or whether you take on temporary staff at pinch points in the year. You are responsible for the health and safety of all employees, permanent or otherwise.
- There’s been a near-miss or accident
If there has been a clutch of minor incidents, accidents and incidents, this is a clear signal that there are health and safety issues in the workplace. It is time to update your policy and to take action to prevent accidents, no matter how minor, from occurring in the first place.
- Employees have raised concerns
It may be that your own employees are feeding back concerns on health and safety issues, such as broken machinery or the need for signage etc.
These are just a few examples of when health and safety policies should be reviewed. There are other examples but in essence, for any business, the need to maintain their health and safety policy as a living document is clear.
- A living document
Changes in employees, as well as the environment, are clear indicators that the policy needs to be updated. By not doing so, you face huge fines in the wake of an accident or incident that clearly shows health and safety has been neglected.
How can we help you?
If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of Health and Safety management, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions or are looking for advice and support to maintain standards, call 01484 666160 or Email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.