Is it Time to Update Your Health and Safety Plan?
When was the last time your business updated its health and safety plan?
According to the HSE, it should be reviewed at least once a year for optimal performance. In this article, we will explore the reasons why your health and safety strategy may need an update and provide guidance on how to approach it.
What Are the Legal Obligations for a Health and Safety Policy?
First of all, every business should be aware of the legal obligations regarding health and safety policies at work.
Having a health and safety policy is a legal requirement. If your organisation employs 5 or more people, you must, by law, have a written health and safety policy.
Whilst those with fewer than 5 employees can suffice with a policy statement, it is highly recommended, particularly in high-risk environments, to establish a comprehensive health and safety policy.
These requirements are specified in two crucial legislations:
Key Indicators to Prompt a Rethink of Your Health and Safety Plan
In health and safety, staying proactive is essential. Simply put, even the most well-crafted health and safety policies can lose their effectiveness over time if not regularly reviewed and updated.
While annual reviews are a good starting point, it is also vital to pay attention to certain indicators that signal the need for a rethink of your health and safety plan. Take note of the following factions that warrant immediate attention and consideration for updating your policies:
- Changes to Health and Safety Legislation: Legislation is constantly evolving, and your policies must keep pace. When changes occur, it’s important to revisit your policies and make necessary amendments.
- Expansion or Relocation: If your business expands to new locations or moves to a different facility, it’s crucial to ensure that your health and safety plan aligns with the unique risks associated with these changes.
- Workforce Dynamics: Significant changes in your workforce, including growth, downsizing, or shifts in personnel, should prompt a re-evaluation of your policies to address any new or altered risks.
- An Accident or Injury: Workplace accidents, injuries, and employee concerns are signals to review and update your policies. Investigate incidents thoroughly and address feedback promptly for a safer work environment.
- Organisational changes: Any shifts in your company’s structure, such as mergers, acquisitions, or reorganisations, necessitate a reassessment of your plan.
Approaching Your Health and Safety Refresh: Where to Begin?
Now you have recognised the need for a refresh in at your workplace, where do you start?
Conducting a Thorough Review
When it comes to refreshing any system, the first step is analysis. How can we improve anything without looking back and assessing?
It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of assuming that everything is fine simply because nothing major went wrong. However, this mindset overlooks the potential for enhancing your strategy.
To set the stage for an effective system update, a thorough review is essential. After all, in-depth analysis sets the tone for a revitalised and optimised system.
Here are a few ways to approach your review:
- Reflect: It may sound simple, but it is essential to reflect: When was the last time your employees received comprehensive safety training? Are emergency procedures up to date and regularly practiced? How effective is your communication strategy in disseminating vital safety information? Explore our essential Health and Safety Checklist for further guidance on reflection.
- Get Others Involved: Most likely, a health and safety update will directly affect your employees. Why not get them involved? Invite them to give feedback, suggestions and different perspectives. What’s more, involving your staff creates a sense of engagement and collective responsibility. This not only boosts employee morale but also reinforces a culture where safety is every employee’s priority. It’s a no brainer, right?
- Go Beyond Minimum Requirements: Compliance is essential, but don’t stop there. Take a look at where you are simply meeting the minimum requirements and plan to exceed expectations. For example, invest in comprehensive training, innovative measures, and proactive risk mitigation. This commitment fosters trust, loyalty, and boosts overall organisational success.
- Consider Advancements in Workplace Safety: Are you up-to-date with new technologies, industry advancements, and shifting regulations? When reviewing your systems, it’s important to consider new technologies that can help streamline your processes.
Risk Assess Your Environment
A risk assessment is defined as a systematic process of identifying hazards and evaluating any associated risks within a workplace, then implementing reasonable control measures to remove or reduce them (British Safety Council).
Conducting a thorough risk assessment is essential when updating your systems. The HSE has recommended a five-step process for completing a risk assessment. It involves:
- Identifying potential hazards
- Identifying who might be harmed by those hazards
- Evaluating risk (severity and likelihood) and establishing suitable precautions
- Implementing controls and recording your findings
- Reviewing your assessment and re-assessing if necessary.
How do you currently conduct your risk assessments? Explore the benefits of investing in RAMS software, which allows you to perform multiple tasks in a single secure platform. Discover our tailored H&S software services here to enhance your risk assessment capabilities.
Revisit Your Resources: Embrace the Digital Advantage
How many of your systems still rely on paper or Excel-based methods?
Nowadays, leveraging communication devices such as smartphones, tablets and online health and safety platforms has become common practice in most industries. Not only can workers utilise devices they are already comfortable with, but such devices and online platforms can also offer improvements to productivity.
Take a moment to assess the resources at your disposal and consider how they can contribute to improving your health and safety processes. After all, embracing digital solutions can revolutionise your workflows and unlock the full potential of your systems.
Get in Touch with Resolution Digital
Contact Resolution Digital for a personalised health and safety plan upgrade. Explore our tailored services:
Benefit from the expertise of our dedicated team of software developers and video producers, who have successfully assisted diverse industries in streamlining their health and safety systems.
Got a project in mind? Get in touch today.