A Health & Safety handbook should be the one-stop-shop to help your team.
It outlines all the necessary information for your employees to stay safe and reduce risk. Ultimately, this means being compliant and protecting your reputation.
So where do you start?
Communicating Health & Safety
As an employer, you have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees and anyone else who might be affected by your activities. In doing so, you’re legally required to:
- have a Health & Safety policy that sets out your organisation’s Health & Safety objectives, responsibilities and arrangements
- ensure all employees are aware of and understand this policy
- ensure all employees have access to Health & Safety information
Providing your employees with a Health & Safety Handbook is an effective way of communicating your policy and providing Health & Safety information.
Safety handbooks help employees understand the Health & Safety issues and rules in their workplace.
They usually set out the duties of employees and general safety rules in detail. Other specific information about how tasks should be carried out and specific working practices may also be included.
It is important to distinguish between a Health & Safety policy and handbook – though often combined they’re not the same. For detail, the policy will refer to the handbook – current opinion is that your policy should be short and accompanied by a handbook.
Handbooks provide information on:
- general personal safety
- reporting of accidents or incidents
- first aid arrangements
- fire and emergency procedures
- manual handling
- using display screen equipment
- electrical safety arrangements
- handling hazardous substances
- housekeeping arrangements
- advice on work-related stress
- using personal protective equipment (PPE)
- working at height
- alcohol, drugs and smoking procedures
- safe driving and use of mobile phones
- arrangements for vulnerable workers such as young people or expectant mothers
- safe use of machinery and equipment
- occupational health provisions
Clear and simple language is to be used so things are readily understood.
Employees normally sign a statement to show they have read, understood and accepted all the rules in the handbook.
Who should write your Handbook?
You can put together your own handbook or you can have it done externally.
Employers must have Health & Safety assistance from a ‘Competent Person’. This comes from The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The regulations go on to say the ‘Competent Person’ must have ‘sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities’. Ellis Whittam’s Health & Safety support is such that we will act as your ‘competent person’.
In other words, the person providing your handbook must have sufficient knowledge and experience to allow them to:
- Detail all the required Health & Safety policies, procedures, duties and rules
- Communicate all those details
- make sure you’re compliant with Health & Safety law
Get Specialist Help
Handbooks are important – not least because they help communicate Health & Safety matters.
But if you don’t feel sufficiently competent, then let Ellis Whittam put together a handbook for you. We can comprehensively tailor one to specifically suit! (pun intended)
Our Health & Safety Help from Ellis Whittam means we can also:
- Write you a Health & Safety policy
- Act as your ‘Competent Person’
- adeptly carry out risk assessments, safety inspections and audits
Why Ellis Whittam?
Health & Safety law is huge, complex and constantly changes.
While there’s no shortage of Health & Safety consultants to help you develop your Health & Safety systems – ask yourself, what do they know about the law?
Talk to the Professionals
Ellis Whittam’s consultants have outstanding relevant qualifications and vast experience. Crucially, many advisers have real ‘boots on the ground’ experience with specific industry knowledge.
With a much more suitable skillset, Ellis Whittam’s consultants are best placed help you with your health and safety handbook.
Contact us for more information.