Health And Safety Management Systems 1 – Policy



On completion of this element, candidates should be able to demonstrate understanding of the content through the application of knowledge to familiar and unfamiliar situations. In particular they should be able to:


  • Outline the key elements of a health and safety management system
  • Explain the purpose and importance of setting policy for health and safety
  • Describe the key features and appropriate content of an effective health and safety



Describe the main components of a health and safety management system The main components of a management system are:

  • Policy,
  • Organisation
  • Planning arid
  • Measuring performance,
  • Reviewing Performance,
  • Audit and
  • Continuous


The components are explained as follows: Policy – should contain:

  • Protecting the safety and health of all members of the organization by preventing work related injuries, ill health, diseases and
  • Complying with relevant occupational safety and health national laws and regulations, voluntary programmes, collective agreements on occupational safety and health and other requirements to which the organization
  • Ensuring the workers and their representatives are consulted and encouraged to participate actively in all elements of the occupational health and safety management system: and
  • Continually improving the performance of the occupational safety and health management
  • Signed / endorsed by senior management and cascaded to all
  • Continued……


Organization Section should ideally contain:


  • A chart illustrating the management structure so far as health and safety is


  • The section should also show details of employees from the lowest levels to the highest with key personnel identified by name as well as by job
  • Also arrangements, procedures, instructions or other internal documents used within the framework of the occupational safety and health management


Planning and Implementation


  • An effective planning system for health and safety requires organisation’s to establish and operate a health and safety management system that, controls risk defects to changing demands in a bid that sustains a positive health and safety


Measuring Health and Safety


  • Performance must be monitored at all levels of the organisation from day to day monitoring by line managers and supervisors to periodic audits of management
  • Performance measurement techniques fall into two broad categories:


  1. Reactive monitoring which monitor accidents, ill health and incidents


  1. Active monitoring which measure the effectiveness of management systems and the extent of compliance with standards and the achievement of


Reviewing Performance


  • Annual or periodic review of the performance to ensure the system is working on the ground and assess if any of the components need more




  • An audit is riot intended to identify all of the hazards, it is intended as an evaluation of health and safety management systems, and is often


Continuous Improvement


  • When each of the above have been properly progressed the result should be an improvement in the occupational health and safety status of the organisation, which, upon further reviews into the future will enable even more improvements to be


Outline the key elements of a health and safety management system. HSG65 model – outline the six elements in the model,

  1. „Policy‟ which should be a clear statement of intent, setting out the main health and safety aims and objectives

of the company and the commitment of management. Then,


  1. „Organising for health and safety‟ which should ensure the allocation of responsibility to members of the workforce with the emphasis on achieving competency and control, together with effective systems for communication and consultation with the Then


  1. „Planning and implementing‟ that should involve the setting of standards and targets, the completion of hazard

identification and risk assessments and the introduction of appropriate control measures. Then


  1. „Measuring and evaluating performance‟ would need to be put in place using proactive and reactive monitoring

systems to provide data on the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives and targets set. Finally


  1. „Audit‟ should be carried out to check whether what was planned was actually taking place, and


  1. „Review‟ to consider options for improvement and to set new targets where


Outline the key elements of a health and safety management system.


  1. “Policy‟, which would be appropriate to the nature and scale of the organisation‟s health and safety risks, include a commitment to the prevention of injury and ill health and to comply at least with applicable legal Then


  1. „Planning‟, would include the introduction of procedures for hazard identification and risk assessment and for identifying and accessing the legal and other health and safety requirements that were applicable to the It would also be necessary to establish health and safety objectives for relevant functions and levels within the organisation. Then,


  1. „Implementation and operation‟, where senior management would have to demonstrate its commitment, ensure effective lines of communication throughout the organisation and seek effective consultation with and participation by the Then


  1. „Checking‟ would be concerned with monitoring the extent to which the organisation‟s health and safety

objectives are being met and the effectiveness of the risk control measures that have been introduced then


  1. „Management review‟ would by an examination of the results of internal audits and an evaluation of compliance with applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organisation subscribes, assess the extent to which objectives have been met and recommend further improvement that would need to be


Outline the main components of a health and safety management system


  • Policy
  • Organisation
  • Planning
  • Implementing
  • Measuring Performance
  • Auditing with Checking and Corrective Actions
  • Reviewing Performance for Continual Improvement Can be remembered using POPIMAR



  • Outline the purpose of the three main sections of an organisation’s health and safety


  • Give reasons why the health and safety policy should be signed by the most senior person in an organisation, such as a Managing Director or Chief Executive


Part (a) of this question is intended to test candidates‟ understanding of health and safety policies and their



Initial referral to the „statement of intent‟ which both demonstrates management’s commitment to health and safety and sets goals and objectives for the organisation,


Moving on to the „organisation‟ section, the purpose of which is to allocate health and safety responsibilities

within the company and to ensure effective delegating and reporting and


Finally the “arrangements” section which sets out in detail the systems and procedures that show how the policy is to be implemented.


Those who do not do so well outline the contents of the sections rather than their purpose. For part (b),

The signature of the most senior person in the organisation would demonstrate management commitment and this would give authority to the policy or that the person concerned ultimately had responsibility for health and safety in the organisation.


Explain why a health and safety policy should be signed by the most senior person in an organisation, such as a Managing Director or Chief Executive and include the signing date.


  • The statement should be signed and dated by the most senior person in the
  • This will demonstrate management commitment to health and safety and give authority to the
  • It will indicate where ultimate responsibility lies and the frequency with which the policy statement is


Outline why it is important that all persons in an organisation are aware of their roles and responsibilities for health and safety.


Ensuring that all persons in an organisation are aware of their roles for health and safety will assist in defining their individual responsibilities and will indicate the commitment and leadership of senior management.


A clear delegation of duties will assist in sharing out the health and safety workload and will ensure contributions from different levels and jobs


Defining roles and responsibilities will help to set up clear lines of reporting and communication as well as assisting in defining individual competencies and training needs particularly for specific roles such as first aid and fire.


Finally, making individuals aware of their own roles and responsibilities will indicate to them that health and safety is seen as a core function of the job, will increase their motivation and help to improve the health and safety culture within the organisation as a whole.



Outline the various methods for communicating the contents of a health and safety policy to a workforce. The policy statement of intent should be

  • Posted on prominent notice boards throughout the workplace and
  • Brought to the attention of all employees at induction and refresher training


It can also be communicated to the workforce:


  • During team briefing sessions,
  • At „toolbox‟ talks which are conducted at the workplace or
  • Directly by email, intranet,
  • Newsletters or
  • It should be a permanent item on the agenda for health and safety committee meetings where it should be reviewed at each


  • Identify the typical content of the ‘statement of intent’ section of an organisation’s health and safety policy


  • Outline the factors that may indicate that health and safety standards within an organisation do not reflect the objectives within the ‘statement of intent’.


Part a)


The following points should be included or considered when a health and safety policy statement is being drafted:


  • The aims should cover health and safety, welfare and relevant environmental issues
  • The position of the senior person in the organization or company who is responsible for health and safety (normally the chief executive)
  • The names of the health and safety adviser and any safety representatives


  • A commitment to the basic requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation (access, egress, risk assessments, safe plant and systems of work, use, handling, transport and handling of articles and substances, information, training and supervision)
  • A commitment to the additional requirements of the good management of health and safety in the workplace (risk assessment, emergency procedures, health surveillance and employment of competent persons)
  • Duties towards the wider general public and others (contractors, customers, students, )
  • The principal hazards in the organization
  • Specific policies of the organization (e.g. Smoking policy, violence to staff, )
  • A commitment to employee consultation possibly using a safety committee or plant council
  • Specific performance targets for the immediate and long term


Part b)


The factors that may indicate that health and safety standards within an organisation do not reflect the objectives within the ‘statement of intent’ are numerous and may include:


  • Absence and accident rates deteriorating or not achieving their target
  • Enforcement actions following non-compliance to legislative standards
  • Non-conformances being raised at times such as audits and inspections
  • Increase of complaints by workers regarding conditions
  • Risk assessments not being reviewed in a timely manner
  • Trainings that are health and safety related are not taking place or are not refreshed if and when
  • Persons not conforming to safe systems of work indicating a slipping / negative safety culture


  1. Explain why it is important for an organisation to set targets in terms of its health and safety performance


Here an alternative question may be – Explain how accident data can be used to improve health and safety performance within an organisation.


  1. Outline SIX types of target that an organisation might typically set in relation to health and


Part a)


Health and safety performance targets are an important part of the statement of intent because:


  • They indicate that there is management commitment to improve health and safety performance
  • They motivate the workforce with tangible goals resulting, perhaps, in individual or collective rewards
  • They offer evidence during the monitoring, review and audit phases of the management


Part b)


The following list, which is not exhaustive, shows common health and safety performance targets:


  • A specific reduction in the number of accidents, incidents and cases of work-related ill-health (perhaps to zero)


  • A reduction in the level of sickness absence
  • A specific increase in the number of employees trained in health and safety
  • An increase in the reporting of minor accidents and „near miss‟ incidents
  • A reduction in the number of civil claims
  • No enforcement notices from the local authority
  • A specific improvement in health and safety audit scores
  • The achievement of a nationally recognised health and safety management standard, such as


Outline the reasons why an organisation should establish health and safety targets There are several reasons for an organisation to set health and safety targets:

  • Evidence of management commitment
  • To prioritize and focus on important health and safety issues
  • To motivate staff by giving them something tangible to aim for and to encourage their ownership
  • To enable performance with standards to be measured and to identify improvements that have been made
  • To enable trends to be identified
  • To meet the standards of the health and safety management systems
  • To highlight the important part that targets can play in facilitating the measurement and review of performance


Identify a range of health and safety targets that may be included in the ‘statement of intent’ section of a health

and safety policy.


Targets that might be included in the statement of intent section of a health and safety policy could include such targets as


  • Compliance by the organisation with the requirements of relevant legislation;
  • A reduction in the number of accidents and cases of ill-health;
  • The completion of an assessment of all risks in the workplace and its review within a defined time scale;
  • The provision to all workers of the necessary information, instruction and training to ensure their competence;
  • The maintenance of exposure levels below defined limits;
  • Full consultation with the workforce on health and safety issues;
  • The provision of sufficient resources to secure the above targets;
  • Increasing the number of trainings delivered related to health and



Outline the health and safety roles and responsibilities of:


  • Directors and senior managers;


  • Supervisors;


  • Workers;


  • Person(s) with primary health and safety functions, g. Health and safety officer.


Part (a)


The main health and safety responsibilities of directors and senior managers are to


  • Prepare and sign a health and safety policy
  • Set goals and objectives for the organisation;
  • Lead by example and
  • Demonstrate commitment;
  • Allocate responsibilities for health and safety throughout the organisation and
  • Set aside sufficient resources such as for example for training those who have been allocated special roles;
  • Secure competent health and safety advice such as by appointing a health and safety advisor; and
  • Receive monitoring reports and instigate action to rectify any deficiencies that have been


Part (b)


Responsibilities of supervisors – they should:


  • Control work in their area of responsibility and set a good
  • Take part in carrying out risk assessments,
  • Take part in the development of safe systems of work and ensure that members of their teams are fully briefed on the systems once they have been
  • Carry out inspections of their working areas and deal with any unsafe conditions or actions, reporting to managers if in any situation they personally do not have the power to take the necessary
  • They have an important role to play in training, coaching and mentoring members of their


Part (c)


The roles and responsibilities of workers include:


  • Taking reasonable care of themselves and their fellow workers,
  • Refraining from misusing equipment provided for their health and safety,
  • Co-operating with their employer by following safe systems of work;
  • Reporting accidents and unsafe situations to their supervisor or other nominated member of


  • They also have an important role to play in taking an active part in any consultation exercise set up by the


Part (d)


A person with primary health and safety functions such as a health and safety officer would be expected to


  • Provide expert advice on matters of health and safety;
  • Assist in the development of the health and safety policy and procedures and their periodic reviews;
  • Intervene when he/she comes across any unsafe conditions or acts;
  • Keep health and safety records such as for accidents and any apparent trends; and
  • Liaise with representatives of external


Outline EIGHT health and safety issues on which employers should consult their workers.


There are a range of issues that employers should consult their workers, these include, but are not limited to:


  1. The provision and use of PPE


  1. Safe systems of work


  1. Health and safety risk assessments


  1. Training issues


  1. The introduction of processes, that may affect workers health and or safety


  1. Changes of materials being used


  1. Organisational structure changes


  1. The arrangements for appointing and/or nominating competent persons to assist in complying with health and safety obligations/requirements


  1. Emergency arrangements and procedures


  1. Welfare issues


  1. Incentive schemes


  1. Introduction of policies g. no smoking, drug/substance abuse and use, alcohol use and abuse.


Give reasons why a verbal instruction may not be clearly understood by a site operative. Reasons should include:

  • Noise and distractions may mean that persons are unable to clearly hear what is being said


  • Use of technical jargon may mean that people mis-understand the information being communicated
  • Complexity of information sometimes meets with the information receivers turning their minds off and not listening as they do not understand what is trying to be communicated
  • Communication is ambiguous
  • Language / dialect barriers is a big problem in some regions, both from the communicator or the receiver, sometimes the same words have different meanings or implications
  • Sensory impairment for example a receiver having a hearing deficiency or the communicator having a serious stammer
  • Mental difficulty may mean the receiver is not capable of absorbing information to any extent
  • Lack of attention by persons clearly not interested in the topic
  • Inexperience of persons not used to having to receive information at work e. young workers
  • Lengthy communication chains may be a problem if translations are required covering several languages –

sometimes a problem in the Middle East for example.


Explain how arrangements for consultation with workers may be made more effective. Arrangements for consultation with workers might be made more effective by:

  • The establishment of safety committees;
  • Consultation with elected representatives of employee safety;
  • Planned direct consultation at departmental meetings,
  • Team meetings, tool box talks and staff appraisals;
  • Consultation as part of an accident or incident investigation or as part of a risk assessment;
  • Day to day informal consultation by supervisors with their team;
  • Questionnaires and suggestion


If formal meetings are to be held, it is important to ensure that:


  • There is a correct balance between management and worker representation;
  • That an agenda is set and the meeting well managed by the chair;
  • That the business of the meeting is not side tracked by discussion of non health and safety issues;
  • That minutes of and report back from the meeting are made available to the workforce as a whole and
  • That actions agreed receive attention without undue


Outline the circumstances that may give rise to a need for a health and safety policy to be revised


A health and safety policy is not a static document and should be reviewed at regular intervals, those intervals can be determined by certain factors and they include:


  • Passage of time – at least annually is there have not been organisational
  • Technological changes (research development) and advancements have led to a better understanding of work practices and as a consequence has indicated a need for change in working practices


  • Introduction of new technology – when new technology has been introduced into the workplace that may pose further hazards,
  • Organisational changes where there has been a shift in accountabilities and/or responsibilities
  • Legal changes – that may impose fresh requirements on an organisation within the work processes that it
  • Accident patterns – if a pattern of accidents, accidents in a certain area have been highlighted, a single significant accident – accidents tend to indicate a management system


Outline FOUR external AND FOUR internal influences that might initiate a health and safety policy review. External Influences:

  1. Changes in legislation and guidance;


  1. Action by the enforcement authority;


  1. A civil claim and/or advice from an insurance company;


  1. Information from manufacturers;


  1. Client considerations or complaints;


  1. Suggestions from professional bodies or trade unions


  1. As a result of an audit by an external


Internal influences:


  1. Significant changes in the structure of the organisation;


  1. Alterations to working arrangements;


  1. After the introduction of new or changed processes or work methods;


  1. Following changes in key personnel;


  1. Where risk assessments, monitoring exercises or accident investigations show that the policy is no longer effective or relevant;


  1. Following consultation with employees and after a sufficient period of time has elapsed since the previous review to suggest that another one is



Outline the typical issued included in the arrangement section of the Health and safety policy


The arrangements section of the health and safety policy document should state how the organisation, through the responsibilities of the people identified in the organisation section, will carry out the general intentions given in the statement.


This is the most company-specific part of the policy and should have details of procedures for controlling risks identified by the risk assessments.


Arrangements and procedures will control the significant risks identified in the risk assessments, which can involve any combination of:


  1. Inspection Regimes


  1. Maintenance Arrangements


  1. Operating Procedures


  1. Training, supervision or monitoring procedures which are needed to control an identified


  1. Risk Assessments


  1. Safe System Of Work


  1. Emergency Arrangements – Fire / First Aid – Accident / Spillages


  1. Training – Analysis, Programs, Tool Box Talks


  1. Permits To Work


  1. Statistic Gathering


  1. Accident / Incident Investigation


  1. Accident Reporting


  1. Safety Committee Protocols – Structure, Constitution


  1. Controlling Exposure to Workplace Hazards


  1. Health Monitoring


Outline how the following techniques may be used to improve health and safety performance within an organisation.


  • Safety


  • Externally led health and safety


  • Analysis of accident statistics.


Part (a)


Safety inspections may be used to improve health and safety performance within an organisation in a number of ways including:


  • Identifying hazards and the appropriate remedial action before accidents have occurred;
  • Showing management‟s commitment to health and safety and improving the morale of the workforce;
  • Enabling the involvement of employees in the management of health and safety and if carried out on a regular basis, identifying trends and weaknesses in existing




Part (b),


The findings of a health and safety audit may be used for improving health and safety performance by:


  • Providing an objective and expert assessment of actual performance against set standards,
  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the existing system
  • Enabling targets and objectives to be set and reviewed thus helping to ensure continuous


Part (c)


An analysis of accident statistics may be used:


  • To identify trends and problem areas in order that resources can be allocated, appropriate remedial actions taken and targets set;
  • To enable comparisons to be made with other like organisations;
  • To provide information to employees in order to focus and stimulate discussion at joint consultation meetings;
  • To show the costs to the organisation of the accidents that

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