Welcome Guest! The IOSH forums are a free resource to both members and non-members. Login or register to use them

Postings made by forum users are personal opinions. IOSH is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the information contained in forum postings. Please carefully consider any advice you receive.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
ttxela  
#1 Posted : 07 March 2019 14:10:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ttxela

I'm having some discussions here about the adequacy of our H&S Policy document and someone has pointed to the HSE's example on their website. http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/managing/writing.htm

Given this example is for an alarm installation company with 22 employees, including office staff, mobile engineers and sales force but simply consists of what looks to amount to a 3 column 5 row table on half a side of A4 I'm wondering if perhaps I am over egging the pudding in expecting a somewhat detailed document.

The textbook I used for my NGC all those years ago devoted a substantial chapter to the preparation of a policy organisations I have worked for of a similar size C.30 employees always had a multiple page document giving rather more detail on responsibilities and arrangements.

So my question is; how many people would be happy with the HSE's policy example if they were responsible for H&S at the example organisation?

Waz  
#2 Posted : 08 March 2019 11:38:37(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Waz

Remember from your GC (all those years ago) that a policy consists of a number of elements:

1.  General Policy Statement of Intent (many refer to this as a policy), but it is the legal aspect that needs to be on display;

2.  Roles & Responsibilities of all parties, from the Managing Director to Fire Wardens across the building in terms of H&S; and

3.  The Arrangements - what you are going to do, and how you do it.

Three individual elements of What, Who and How.  Together that is a H&S Policy, remembering the General Statement is as it states, a 'statement'.

This would go much further than your 1 page of A4 landscape or portrait for that matter.

Waz

Edited by user 08 March 2019 11:39:23(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling, Grammar

ttxela  
#3 Posted : 08 March 2019 12:10:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ttxela

Originally Posted by: Waz Go to Quoted Post

This would go much further than your 1 page of A4 landscape or portrait for that matter.

Waz

Indeed, and our policy for 30 employees or so runs into multiple pages. However the HSE example on the link in my first post purports to cover all this (Policy Statement, Responsibilities & arrangements) in a half page table for a 22 employee business of a type that whilst not massively complex must certainly have a fair bit to deal with H&S wise.

I'm guessing from your answer that you would not be happy with the example policy if responsible for the example company?

If so my question still stands, how many of us would be, and if not are we over egging it?

Edited by user 08 March 2019 12:11:02(UTC)  | Reason: Dodgy puntuation

CptBeaky  
#4 Posted : 08 March 2019 12:20:07(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

I would not be happy with that policy. I feel it misses out on so many key areas.

The policy I created (with some external help) for my employers has a front page "General Statement" and then several pages giving on overview of the the who and how across each areas of concern (fire, plant and equipment, first aid, COSHH etc.) Once created it is very simple to review and update responsibilities and procedures.

I probably could condense the whole thing into 3 or 4 pages, but I prefer each section to have its own page, meaning it is 12 pages long. Remember some of these pages have just a few lines. I am by no means an expert in 'Policy' writing, but I find this why it is very easy to see exactly what you want without having to read through the whole document.

ttxela  
#5 Posted : 08 March 2019 12:31:21(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ttxela

I would definitely agree, I wonder why the example is so simplistic, its certainly not helping my case that ours needs work......

biker1  
#6 Posted : 08 March 2019 16:35:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

In my experience, the HSE's approach to some things has been somewhat simplistic. Remember the HSE guide 'Stating your business' on producing a policy (just fill in the blanks, and hey presto), not to mention the 5 Steps to Risk Assessment? I have always thought that such an approach was aimed at the lowest denominator, in other words, if you haven't got anything better, use this.

peter gotch  
#7 Posted : 10 March 2019 12:36:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Section 2(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires in Great Britain (with parallel requirements in numerous other legislative regimes) a General statement, together with the Organisation and Arrangements.

Nowhere does it say that all three elements have to be in the same place.

Our general statement is on a single page. Everything else is in our H&S management systems.

The one page sets the tenor of what we want and is what our staff and other stakeholders are likely to read and easily understand.

Our approach is by no means unusual.

thanks 3 users thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
ttxela on 11/03/2019(UTC), SJP on 11/03/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 11/03/2019(UTC)
Tinkerbel7  
#8 Posted : 11 March 2019 11:56:40(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Tinkerbel7

I would agree that it is simplistic.

Not bad to use as a header, or a starting point if you have nothing in place.  You would still need to ensure the three elements are covered and I am not convinced you could adequately explain the arrangements of a company's business in one page!

A Kurdziel  
#9 Posted : 11 March 2019 12:56:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

 I think that there is a growing disconnect between that bit of HSE that is in charge of agitation and propaganda which includes the website, who are repeatedly being told to “Keep it Simple” and the enforcement arm who want to see policies and documents that:

  • Reflect what the business does ie are not generic
  • Show how they actually manage Health and Safety in the workplace
  • Provide a level of information that staff can use to actually fulfil heir Health and Safety duties as part of their job.

I am not sure that a one page document is enough anymore that a simple checklist is an audit or SDS in a filing cabinet covers with COSHH.

 

thanks 2 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Tinkerbel7 on 11/03/2019(UTC), CptBeaky on 11/03/2019(UTC)
Users browsing this topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.