Five minutes to... review your health and safety policy
If you have more than five employees you must have a written health and safety policy, by law. Having a policy helps you assess and mitigate any risks to you and your staff and by demonstrating a commitment to health and safety you can reduce your public, employee and general liability insurance premiums. Every health and safety policy needs to be reviewed regularly and if you haven’t taken a look at your own for a while, take five minutes to review your policy and make sure it’s up to date.
1. Review cycle and insurance renewal dates
If your policy is more than a couple of years old why not check the date your business insurance is up for renewal and put a date in your diary. If your business is growing you may need more cover, or you may find that with extra staff or premises or equipment you can get a better deal by getting a business insurance package that bundles all your insurance together.
2. Check the person with responsibility for health and safety is still current
For a business with five or more employees, by law you must identify a competent person to help you with health and safety in the workplace. This be you as the business owner yourself or with a named colleague or outside consultant, depending on the business and your needs. For most small businesses the business owner will manage health and safety, but external advisors may be needed for businesses in manufacturing or construction or where other more complex risks to safety present to employees. The HSE have produced guidance on how to choose an external advisor.
3. Review your risks to health and safety before you revise your policy
Reviewing health and safety requires good observation of all the risks in the workplace. It’s much better to start afresh than to work from an old document because the chances are that you’ll see new risks that the earlier policy didn’t cover. Get a checklist and walk through the workplace assessing risks one by one.
4. Assess risks to health and safety policy in your workplace
There are many general risks that are probably common to all businesses, such as fire and slips trips and falls, but there are likely to be risks specific to your business and to the people who work for you. Health and Safety Executive has a wealth of information and resources for conducting risk assessments, including checklists for different industries that can help you identify specific risks if you search the site for your risks in your industry.
5. Review your policy with your risk assessment to hand
Now that you have carried out a risk assessment it’s time to review your written policy. For a model policy take a look at the HSE website, where you can download a template Health and Safety Policy and then just fill in your own general and specific risk assessment details.
6. Check your insurance policy is up to date and gives you the right level of cover
You need to display your business insurance certificates on your business premises – including your employee liability cover, public liability cover and any other business liability cover you may have. Now your policy is up to date, why not call ConstructaQuote to make sure you are getting the best deal to meet your business’ insurance needs. You may find you can save some money and get a high level of cover.