Occupational Safety and Health and Safety Policy Essay

Paper 1 Management of Health and Safety
Element 2 Setting Health & Safety Policy

1. (a) Outline the general content of the THREE sections of a health and safety policy. (6)

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(b) Explain why the health and safety policy should be signed by the most senior person in an organization, such as a Managing Director or Chief Executive· Officer. (2) Answer
(a) The three sections of a policy are the ‘statement of intent’, which both demonstrates management’s commitment to health and safety and sets goals and objectives for the organization, then to the ‘organization’ section, the purpose of which is to allocate health and safety responsibilities within the company, to ensure effective control, competency, cooperation and to set up lines of communication, and finally, to the ‘arrangements’ section which sets out in detail the systems and procedures to implement the policy such as controlling hazards, provision of PPE, emergency procedures, monitoring, plant and equipment etc.

(b) The signature of the most senior person in the organization would demonstrate management commitment, responsibility for health and safety in the organization, to set, approve and review the policies and to ensure the resources for effective implementation of health & safety.

2. (a) Explain the purpose of the ‘statement of intent section of a health and safety policy (2)

(b) Outline the circumstances that would require a health and safety policy to be reviewed. (6)

Answer:
(a) The ‘statement of intent’ section of a health and safety policy is designed to demonstrate management commitment to health and safety in terms of aims and objectives, example, commitment to improve trainings, reduce the incidents etc.

(b) The circumstances to review the policy include significant changes in the organization; after the introduction of new machinery or new processes or work methods; following changes in key personnel; following changes in legislation; following an accident, and after a sufficient period of time has elapsed.

3. (a) Outline why it is important for an organization to set health and safety targets.(2) (b) Identify health and safety targets that an organization could set. (6)

Answer
(a) It is important for organizations to set health and safety targets, to give evidence of management commitment, to motivating staff by providing them with goals and rewards; to act as an evidence during the audit and reviews and for benchmarking against other similar organizations.

(c) Identified targets such as reductions in the number of accidents and defined incidents; an improvement in the reporting of near miss incidents or minor accidents and an improvement in inspection and audit scores; a reduction in actions taken by the enforcement authorities and in the number of civil claims; a reduction in sickness absence and absenteeism; reduced insurance costs; an increase in the degree of worker involvement and additionally in the number of workers trained in health and safety.

4. (i) State the legal requirements whereby employers must prepare a written statement of their health and safety policy.

(ii) Outline the various methods for communicating the contents of a health and safety policy to a workforce.

Answer
(i) The law requires that the written health and safety policy should include the following three sections: A health and safety policy statement of intent which includes the health and safety aims and objectives of the organization; The health and safety organization detailing the people with specific health and safety responsibilities and their duties; The health and safety arrangements in place in terms of systems and procedures, The law requires employers to prepare and review the health and safety policy on a regular basis.

(ii) The methods to communicate the policy displaying the policy on prominent notice boards throughout the workplace, through induction and refresher training sessions, ‘toolbox’ talks which are conducted at the workplace, directly by email, intranet, newsletters or booklets etc.

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