Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by Admin
Irrespective of the industry your business operates in, it is essential that you have a solid health and safety policy in place. The UK government’s Health and Safety at Work Act mandates that every business that employs more than five workers must develop a health and safety policy of their own. Given the nature and inherent risks of the construction sector, this becomes all the more necessary.
This article will help you to understand the various steps that you, as the employer, can take to develop a legally recognised, all bases covered, health and safety policy for your construction business.
Carry Out a Thorough Risk Assessment
This is an essential step, as risk assessments will help you identify the safety threats your business faces.
While assessing for risks, pay close attention to the following parameters:
- Workplace design
- The hazards (if any) posed by the equipment you use
- Be comprehensive: assess every workplace process and task
- Check the degree of effectiveness of the safety gear currently used
By performing a thorough risk assessment, you will have a clear idea about all relevant safety hazards, allowing you to take action to resolve them. Furthermore, an evaluation will allow you to inform your workers about the risks involved, helping to enhance workplace transparency.
Identify All Applicable Standards and Laws
As already mentioned, every business in the UK must develop a health and safety policy in line with the National Health and Safety at Work Act. However, you need to identify the standards that apply to the construction industry and proceed accordingly. For example, the 2015 Construction (Design and Management) Regulations comprises of four sections: Introduction, Client Duties, Health and Safety Duties and Roles and General Requirements.
Going through the existing laws will help you understand what you need and don’t need to include in your policy. Additionally, look out for laws and guidelines at the local level, and ensure that your policy complies with all relevant regulations.
Take Cues from a Template
While you work towards formulating a health and safety policy for your construction company, you will likely get stuck here and there. In such situations, it can be helpful to look at examples and templates for guidance.
There are many helpful resources available in this regard on the official website of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) board. Do you have contacts and connections within the construction industry? Reach out to your network and ask if they already have a safety policy in place that you can check.
Ask Your Employees
Look at it this way: a Health and Safety policy is a mandatory aspect of businesses to ensure that employees enjoy a safe and healthy work environment. Therefore, it’s important to consult with them and find out about any safety concerns they might have.
What’s more, considering that they spend most of their time on construction sites, they will be able to point out loopholes and areas that you might have overlooked.
Draft Your Policy Carefully
There’s no point in having a health and safety policy that is too vague or difficult to understand. That’s why how you write the policy is also important.
For starters, keep the following in mind:
- Start with a strong and clear statement: Ensure that you clearly outline your construction company’s commitment to the safety of your workers. You don’t want to be sending any mixed signals here.
- Clearly outline roles and responsibilities: Who are the people directly tasked with overseeing the health and safety of your employees? List their names, designations, and responsibilities clearly, to ensure transparency and accountability.
- Show and tell: Mention every arrangement, equipment and plan that you have in place or are planning to implement. For example, if you are going to invest in better safety equipment, mention the nature of the equipment, what it does, and how it will help your workers.
After you are done drafting your policy, be sure to share it with your workers.
Update the Policy Whenever Required
Rules and regulations regarding involving health and safety are subject to constant change. These changes could be due to anything – altered circumstances, new protocols, or even adjustments to national policy. Your health and safety policy must be updated to reflect the changes, as and when required.
A health and safety policy will not amount to much if it is not backed by approproate action. Once you identify a risk, act on it immediately. Let’s suppose that the lack of appropriate and safe workwear is one of the red flags you have identified. In this case, you can address the risk by contacting a workwear supply service like phs besafe.
A safe and healthy work environment has many advantages, including increased work productivity. So, make the safety of your workers a priority, and you’ll see great results!
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