Three safety statement FAQs
In the early days of setting up your business, there are a whole range of Is to be dotted, Ts to be crossed and procedures to be formalised to comply with the appropriate regulations and legislation. A safety statement is one such document which both employers and the self-employed in Ireland must produce to satisfy Section 20 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
The safety statement is produced after a risk assessment has been conducted into the potential hazards in a workplace. The safety statement then specifies the manner in which these risks will be secured and managed. Under the terms of the act, the safety statement must be kept up-to-date and communicated to employees in a form, manner and language they understand. The safety statement is then to be reviewed annually, and if necessary, amended in line with new business practices or fresh hazards that employees and members of the public are exposed to.
Why do I need a health and safety policy statement?
A safety statement forms the starting point of managing health and safety in your workplace. The overarching aim of the safety statement, and workplace health and safety as whole, is to make sure no employee or member of the public is hurt or becomes ill as a result of your work.
Accidents and ill health not only have a detrimental affect on people’s lives; they also have a lasting impact on your business, resulting in lost output, increased insurance premiums and court cases which can cause irreversible harm to the reputation of your business. By preparing and maintaining an up-to-date safety statement, you are taking the first steps to significantly reducing the likelihood of an accident occurring in your workplace.
Who is responsible for what?
The responsibility for the health and safety of employees and members of the public rests almost entirely on the shoulders of the employer. However, the day-to-day tasks involved in this process can be largely delegated or outsourced. A safety statement plays an important part in the delegation of tasks and should clearly show exactly who is responsible for what.
Employees should be consulted about the safety statement whilst it is being drawn up (with the assistance of your company safety representatives, if you have any) and their input should be incorporated into the statement. The statement should dictate who is responsible for each element of the health and safety procedure, from reporting an accident to administering first aid.
What are the benefits for your business?
Financial – There is a wealth of evidence to support the statement that effective health and safety management helps to reduce business costs and contributes to overall business success. The costs associated with accidents and ill-health are often hidden and underestimated.
Legal – Preparing a safety statement and conducting a risk assessment are not only the starting point for any health and safety policy and procedure, they are also a legal requirement. If you are visited by a Health and Safety Authority inspector, they will scrutinise the safety statement along with the procedures and practices in use. The employer can be prosecuted if there is no safety statement in place.
Ethical – Completing a risk assessment and creating a safety statement plays a significant role in preventing workplace injuries and ill-health. An employer is ethically bound to do everything they can to reduce the risk of an employee or member of the public falling ill, being injured or even killed during the course of their work or when visiting your business.
Call 0818 333 212 or email: info@Businesssafety.ie to ensure your compliance with health and safety legislation. We will conduct a risk assessment and produce a safety statement based on these findings before forwarding it on for you to review, making any amendments you see fit.