Health and Safety Policy Review Checklist  

The  following  checklist  can  be  used  as  an  aid  in  the  writing  and  reviewing  of  a  health  and   safety  policy.  It  is  derived  from  UK  HSE  Information.

General policy  and  organisation:

  • Are  the  obligations  towards  your  employees  made  clear  and  does  the  statement   express  a  commitment  to  health  and  safety?
  • Does  it  say  which  senior  manager  is  responsible  for  the  implementation,  review,  and   how  this  will  be  done?
  • Is  it  signed  and  dated  by  you,  a  partner  or  senior  director?
  • Have  the  views  of  managers  and  supervisors,  safety  representatives  and  the  safety   committee  been  taken  into  account?
  • Were  the  duties  set  out  in  the  statement  discussed  with  the  people  concerned  in   advance,  and  accepted  by  them,  and  do  they  understand  how  their  performance  is   to  be  assessed  and  what  resources  they  have  at  their  disposal?
  • Does  the  statement  make  clear  that  co-­‐operation  on  the  part  of  all  employees  is   vital  to  the  success  of  your  health  and  safety  policy?
  • Does  it  say  how  employees  are  to  be  involved  in  health  and  safety  matters,  for   example  by  being  consulted,  by  taking  part  in  inspections  and  by  sitting  on  a  safety   committee?
  • Does  it  show  clearly  how  the  duties  for  health  and  safety  are  allocated  and  are  the   responsibilities  at  different  levels  described?
  • Does  it  say  who  is  responsible  for  reporting  investigations  and  recording  accidents,   fire  precautions,  fire  drills  and  evacuation  procedures,  first-­‐aid,  safety  inspections,   training  programmes  and  ensuring  that  all  the  legal  requirements  are  met?

Arrangements  that  need  to  be  considered:

  • Keeping  the  workplace,  including  staircases,  floors,  ways  in  and  out,  washrooms,   etc.,  in  a  safe  and  clean  condition  by  cleaning,  maintenance  and  repair.
  • Requirements  of  the  Work  at  Height  Regulations.
  • Suitable  and  sufficient  risk  assessments.

Plant  and  substances:

  • Maintenance  of  equipment  such  as  tools,  ladders,  etc.    Are  they  in  a  safe  condition?
  • Maintenance  and  proper  use  of  safety  equipment  such  as  helmets,  boots,  goggles,   respirators,  etc.
  • Maintenance  and  proper  use  of  plant,  machinery  and  guards.
  • Regular  testing  and  maintenance  of  lifts,  hoists,  cranes,  pressure  systems,  boilers   and  other  dangerous  machinery,  emergency  repair  work,  and  safe  methods  of   carrying  out  these  functions.
  • Maintenance  of  electrical  installations  and  equipment.
  • Safe  storage,  handling  and,  where  applicable,  packaging,  labelling  and  transport  of   flammable  or  hazardous  substances.
  • Controls  of  work  involving  harmful  substances  such  as  lead  and  asbestos.
  • The  introduction  of  new  plant,  equipment  or  substances  into  the  workplace  by   examination,  testing  and  consultation  with  the  workforce.
  • Exposure  to  non-­‐ionizing  and  ionizing  radiation.

Other  hazards:

  • Noise  problems  –  wearing  of  hearing  protection,  and  control  of  noise  at  source.
  • Vibration  problems  –  hand-­‐arm  and  whole-­‐body  control  techniques  and  personal   protection.
  • Preventing  unnecessary  or  unauthorized  entry  into  hazardous  areas.
  • Lifting  of  heavy  or  awkward  loads.
  • Protecting  the  safety  of  employees  against  assault  when  handling  or  transporting   the  employer’s  money  or  valuables.
  • Special  hazards  to  employees  when  working  on  unfamiliar  sites,  including   discussions  with  site  manager  where  necessary.
  • Control  of   works  transport,  for  example  fork-­‐lift  trucks,  by  restricting  use  to   experienced  and  authorized  operators  or  operators  under  instruction  (which  should   deal  fully  with  safety  aspects).
  • Driving  on  public  roads  while  at  work.

Emergencies:

  • Ensuring  that  fire  exits  are  marked,  unlocked  and  free  from  obstruction.
  • Maintenance  and  testing  of  fire-­‐fighting  equipment,  fire  drills  and  evacuation   procedures.
  • First-­‐aid,  location  of  first-­‐aid  box  as  well  as  the  name  and  location  of  person   responsible  for  firs-­‐aid  and  the  deputy.

Communication:

  • Giving  employees  information  about  the  general  duties  under  the  HSW  Act  and   specific  legal  requirements  relating  to  their  work.
  • Giving  employees  necessary  information  about  substances,  plant,  machinery  and   equipment  with  which  they  come  into  contact.
  • Discussing  with  contractors,  before  they  come  on  site,  how  they  plan  to  do  their  job,   whether  they  need  any  equipment  from  your  organisation  to  help  them,  whether   they  can  operate  in  a  segregated  area  or  only  when  part  of  the  plant  is  shut  down   and,  if  not,  what  hazards  they  may  create  for  your  employees  and  vice  versa.

Training:

  • Training  employees,  supervisors  and  managers  to  enable  them  to  work  safely  and  to   carry  out  their  health  and  safety  responsibilities  efficiently.

Supervising:

  • Supervising   employees  so  far  as  necessary  for  their  safety   –   especially  young   workers,  new  employees  and  employees  carrying  out  unfamiliar  tasks.

Keeping  check:

  • Regular  inspections  and  checks  of  the  workplace,  machinery  appliances  and  working   methods.

Smoking Policy in the Workplace

No smoking sign

The Tobacco Products Control Act provides for the protection of non-smokers – it does not provide any benefit or protection for smokers.

In addition, smoking in the workplace is not regulated by Labour Law but only by the above-mentioned Act.
In terms of this Act, the employer is obliged to take steps to protect non-smoking staff from the cigarette smoke of the smokers.

There is no obligation whatsoever on the employer to provide smoke breaks, and indeed if he/she does provide smoke breaks he/she is entitled to insist that those employees must work in the time taken for ‘smoke breaks’ after hours, without additional remuneration, or he/she can total up the ‘smoke breaks time’ and deduct it from wages at month end.

The employer is entitled to ban smoking completely on his building or in the workplace if he wishes to, and he can designate any area of his choice to be the smoking area. This could be the roof of the building, or the car park, and the employer is under no obligation to provide an alternative smoking area in the event of inclement weather.

In short, the employer is under no obligation to facilitate the addiction of the smoker to the drug nicotine, just as he is under no obligation to facilitate the addiction of any employee who may be addicted to alcohol, narcotics and so on.

When you consider that these no obligation on the employer to provide an alcoholic employee with ‘ drink breaks’, why should there be an obligation on him/ her to provide ‘smoke breaks’ to an Employee who is addicted to nicotine ?

The employer is obligated to comply with the following regulations in the Act if he/she wishes to provide a smoking area:

Section 3 : Tobacco Products Control Act :

Note : A “workplace” falls within the definition of and is regarded as a “public place.”
An employer, owner, licensee, lessee or person in control of a public place may designate a portion of a public place as a smoking area, provided that-
a) the designated smoking area does not exceed 25% of the total floor area of the public place;
b) the designated smoking area is separated from the rest of the public place by a solid partition and an entrance door on which the sign “SMOKING AREA” is displayed, written in black letters, at least 2 cm in height and 1,5 cm in breadth, on a white background;
c) the ventilation of the designated smoking area is such that air from the smoking area is directly exhausted to the outside and is not re-circulated to any other area within the public place;
d) the message: “SMOKING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS IS HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH AND TO THE HEALTH OF CHILDREN, PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING WOMEN AND NONSMOKERS. FOR HELP TO QUIT PHONE (011) 720 3145” is displayed at the entrance to the designated smoking area,

PLEASE REFER TO THE TOBACCO PRODUCTS CONTROL ACT FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS DOCUMENT