Health and Safety Policies & Procedures are rules and regulations that have been written down. They are expected to be adopted and used by all in the workplace. These policies are implemented to safe guard health and safety. Health and Safety Policies & Procedures are essential to ensure safe work procedure is followed in the workplace.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 stipulate that every employer should prepare a written policy concerning the protection of the health and safety of his employees. The policy should further include the description of their organization and the guidelines concerning the contents of the policy concerned.
Health and Safety Policies & Procedures
Having Health and Safety Procedures in the workplace shows that employers, management and employees prioritize health and safety. It also displays the commitment to reduce or remove risks, safe guard the safety and welfare of premises users. This includes contractors, visitors and anyone else who could be affected by your business.
Below is a basic structure that can be used to draft H&S Policies and Procedures. Companies can adapt theirs to meet and suit the needs of their businesses.
Responsibilities Employers and Management
Shall as far as reasonable possible provide and maintain:
> a safe working environment
> safe working systems
> safe products and well maintained plants, machinery and equipment
> safe and healthy facilities for employees e.g. Changing rooms, showers, dining room.
> Provide information & instructions to employees, e.g. safe working procedures, data sheets for products and machinery manufacturers' information.
> Provide training and supervision to ensure that employees are safe from injuries. Employees should be trained in aspects such as fire drills, evacuation plans, First Aid etc.
> Show a commitment to consult and co-operate with workers in all matters relating to health and safety in the workplace
> Display the Health and Safety Policies and Procedures in the workplace where employees normally report for duty.
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They have the duty to:
> Take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and also not jeopardize the health and safety of other employees.
> abide to safe working procedures to prevent cases of injuries and malicious damage to plant and equipment
> wear Personal Protective Equipment and clothing provided at all times where necessary e.g safety glasses, masks, gloves, hair nets, etc.
> Report any broken or weakened PPE if they feel it no longer saves its purpose
> comply with any direction given by management for health and safety
> not misuse or interfere with anything provided for health and safety
> report all incidents on the job immediately. In no case should an employee treat his own or someone else’s injuries. In case of an accident resulting in severe injuries, the employee is not to be moved until medical attention has been given by authorized personnel.
> Report any hazards they come across
> Do not wear loose clothing or jewellery around machinery
> Only authorized employees should operate machinery or equipment
> Shut down your machine before cleaning, repairing or leaving
> Keep your work area clean.
> Observe smoking regulations.
> Do not block access to First Aid Equipment.
> Do not block access to Fire Equipment.
How to implement Health and Safety Policies & Procedures
Information: Management should ensure that all employees have access to Health and Safety Policies & Procedures. It will be more effective if training is provided for employees to determine the understanding of the policies and procedures.
Also all employees should know where the First-Aid Kit and fire equipment is located.
Risk assessment: It should be conducted for all members of staff, work activities and systems on planned intervals. The Risk Assessment will focus on identifying workplace hazards; potential future hazards and who is at risk.
After identifying the risks, they should be evaluated and corrective control measures implemented to control them. A review should be conducted. The results of the risk assessments should be recorded and safety procedures adjusted to meet the new standards of changes.
MAKROSAFE can assist you draft Health and Safety Policies & Procedures suitable for your workplace.
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