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A Safety Policy Statement In The Workplace

Policy Statement

A safety policy statement is paramount to the health and safety of employees in a company. A company with more than five employees is required to have a documented safety policy. This policy should also be unique to a specific company, therefore, should not be copied form a similar company. A conclusive policy statement requires that all employees be consulted on matters relating to their safety in the workplace.

Considerations and policies involved in the drafting of this policy include (CCOHS, 2018, p. 1);

  • Company practices- a safety policy statement is required to be specific in nature. Thus, the company should document a policy that is “relevant and appropriate to the nature, scale and OHS hazards and risks associated with that workplaces’ needs” (CCOHS, 2018, p. 1 para 3)
  • Issues that the policy will cover- the policy statement should clearly indicate the company’s plans and objectives. These are formed from the responsibilities of the employees, accountability issues and commitment to the policy (CCOHS, 2018, p. 1 para 6 & 7). The policy should also state the expected results if it is incorporated into a company’s practices.
  • Due consideration should be given to the regional, industry, health and statutory requirements in the safety policy statement. All company safety policies should adhere to all the stated regulations before the formation of company-specific regulations.

Safety Policy Statement

Policy Statement

Effective date: 03-08-2018

It is the safety policy of Jim & Sons Construction Company…

…to ensure safety standards are the priority in all activities in the company. This shall be done through continual communication between the management teams and the employees on possible areas of improvement.

…that the company shall ensure the provision of adequate, specific and modern safety equipment.

…to ensure that all the employees are aware of the hazards related to the various processes associated with the company. Further, these employees shall be trained in the possible solutions to these hazards.

…that the employees are trained in first aid. The required ratio of trained employees shall be adhered to. Trained employees will also be taken through similar training on an annual basis.

The goals associated with this policy statement include;

  • Reduce process-related casualties, injuries and accidents to zero.
  • Analyze causes of the possible and occurred accidents to provide solutions and ensure the safety of the employees in turn.
  • Ensure employees are aware of the safe work practices and that they abide by them.
  • Provide process-specific safety gear for all employees, such as helmets, gloves and safety boots.
  • Conduct regular external audits on the safety of the processes, machines and chemical materials used in the processes associated with the company.

To accomplish the safety policy, the management shall;

  • Ensure all employees are aware of the safe workplace conditions and processes. This shall be achieved through regular training on safety processes, such as fire safety for the fire company’s appointed fire marshals and evacuation procedures for all employees.
  • External contractors are made aware of the required safe work processes. They will be taken through simple safe work practice briefings by the appointed safety supervisor.
  • Appoint a senior employee responsible for updating and conforming to the safety policy of all the company employees. The supervisor shall also report and document all accidents in the company and, where necessary, provide immediate solutions to the hazard.
  • Through the provision of safety policy statements on the notice boards and safety workplace equipment, ensure that the employees understand that they are responsible for their safety.
  • Hold regular meetings with trainers to ensure that all employees are aware of the safe work practices expected of them. Also, meetings with the management teams shall be held in a bid to understand the safety hazards employees want to be regulated or amended.

The following are the safety rules unique to Jims & Sons Construction Company;

  1. All employees should always wear their helmets and safety boots whenever they are on a construction site. The construction supervisors will assume construction safety supervision and should, therefore, not allow employees to operate without the safety gear.
  2. All employees responsible for operating machines are prohibited from being intoxicated at least 36 hours before their shifts. Also, the lifting machines are prohibited from moving while suspending materials high in the air; instead, movement should be done with the suspended loads at the lowest level.
  3. Protective equipment such as gloves and goggles shall be worn whenever employees operate in areas where chemicals are present. Further, these employees are required to always be aware of the hazards associated with the said chemicals.
  4. All employees working at high heights shall use ladders. These ladders must be mounted at a slanting angle and fastened so that they do not move, and the employees should ensure that at least three limbs are free to move (one hand and the legs). Because of their safety, employees should always ensure that the ladders and other materials are in good working condition. All maximum heights and weights shall be adhered to on moving, lifting and pulling machines used in the construction processes.
  5. An assembly place shall be allocated at every construction site. All employees should first assemble at the assembly point in case of an emergency, such as a fire. This is to allow confirmation of the safety of all employees.

Recommendations

Bob Mill, Safety Manager, Turner Constructions

The policy statement does not specify the allocation of resources in case of limited resources. Prioritization of the allocation process should be emphasized to ensure that regardless of the financial capability of the firm, safety is always funded.

The policy does not include a Health and Safety Health Book. This log contains treatments administered within and without the company. These records formulate the causes of the accidents, areas of high occurrences, and the required training. The records also allow for tabulation of checklists to ensure that the hazards are continually checked.

In terms of company goals, the policy does not emphasize the importance of employee safety to the success of the company. This is important in ensuring that the management team comprehends the importance of ensuring the provision of adequate training and safety equipment. The benefits of the investment in safety should also be written down. This provides the expectations of the management team from the investment, such as reduced bills for employees in health centres.

Mary Moore, Civil Engineer, CB&I Construction

The proper procedure for the safety adherence policy is not documented. This is important because it provides the managers and supervisors with a reason to question the reasons behind the neglect and possible solutions. Reviews and audits are formed from these documents; hence, specified individuals should be mandated with the task.

The policy statement should specify individuals responsible for the inspection and maintenance of machines used in the processes. Further, the policy should state the specific recommended conditions of these machines. The policy also does not specify the individuals responsible for different areas, such as construction heads or civil engineers.

The policy does not specify who will review it, such as the health and safety committee. The sequence of the review and the level of inclusivity are not documented. The review is important in highlighting issues such as the allocation of funds, the management’s responsibility in ensuring the safety of the employees or the knowledge of the employees in safety.

Sandra Baker, Construction Engineer, PCL Construction Enterprises

Familiarization with the safety practices and equipment should be the supervisors’ responsibility, but the proposed policy leaves this to the employees. The result is that the supervisors are not aware of the possible hazards associated with new procedures, construction sites and machines.

References

CCOHS. (2018). OSH Answers Fact Sheets. Canadiana Centre for Ocuupationals Healthy and Safety, 1, 1. Retrieved from https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/osh_policy.html

Jones, K. (2016, June). 10 Construction Site Safety Tips. Constrcut Connect, 1(1), 1. Retrieved from https://www.constructconnect.com/blog/construction-safety/10-construction-site-safety-tips/

Watson, C. (2013). Health & Safety Policy Statement. Health, 1, 1. Retrieved from http://www.sivatech.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/11-21-13-Health-and-Safety-Policy-Statement-January-2012.pdf

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