Quick Guide on Writing an Effective OHS Policy Statement

Lauren Groff

Organizations and companies consist of employees, management, and other personnel. Therefore, it’s imperative to have an occupational health and safety (OHS) policy in place.

An OHS policy statement is an internal company/organization document that shows how committed the company/organization is in ensuring the overall health and safety of its workforce, while maintaining good relationships between employees and executives.

While writing an effective OHS policy statement might seem challenging at first, it doesn’t have to be. This quick guide will explore the following, when it comes to OHS policy statements:

  • Why this type of policy statement matters
  • What it does
  • What to consider when writing one, AND
  • What it includes

Why It Matters

First, know why you’re writing the OHS policy statement to begin with. Next, figure out what you would like to achieve from creating the document. The reason for these factors is because the policy statement needs to have substance in order to be enforced in a company or organization.

Plus, without an OHS policy statement in place, you’ll risk leaving your company or organization misguided in its efforts to enforce health and safety for employees. Only having an effective OHS policy statement can make health and safety expectations clear to everyone involved.

What An OHS Policy Does

Now, an OHS policy is to be crafted in a way that it fully illustrates the importance of health and safety. Here are the features that you’ll need to consider for an effective OHS policy:

  • It should promote the philosophy and values that guides your OHS program.
  • It shows the goals and expectations, and how they align with your policy statement.
  • It shows the intent to employees, and its commitments to keep them safe.

The goal here is to build a two-way street, where both employees and management are accounted for in the OHS policy.

What To Consider

When writing an OHS policy statement, you’ll also need to consider the following:

  • State arrangements that are (or expected to be) in place to support and implement the policy, including:
  • Safe working procedures
  • Safety meetings
  • Safety training and education, etc.
  • Address the possible hazards that can happen in the workplace (depending on the industry)
  • Discuss active and on-going employee participation in achieving health and safety goals, AND
  • Adapt to the many changes that can happen within the company or organization – an annual review, as many businesses may call it

Based on the considerations, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions, as you write the policy. Here are some questions to consider during the writing process:

  • What are your goals for the safety program?
  • Who is responsible for enforcing the OHS policy?
  • Who is responsible for assigning responsibilities for coordinating OHS-related activities?
  • How will safety be enforced during conflicting priorities, or when resources are limited?
  • What types of benefits are expected from an effective OHS program?

What An OHS Policy Includes

Now, keep in mind that your OHS policy statement should be clear and easy to implement in a company and organization. With that said, it’s important to learn what makes an effective OHS policy:

  • Health and safety principles that can be implemented into every company/organization action
  • Commitments made by management
  • An outline version of your OHS policy, including a plan for an annually review period for it
  • A detailed list of responsibilities of personnel to health and safety
  • Explanations of said responsibilities, and how they can be performed
  • A disclaimer stating that no one in the company or organization is exempted from this policy
  • A detailed strategy (with procedures and goals) of how this policy will be funded
  • A detailed strategy of how your company or organization can use effective communication and cooperation to enforce great relationships between managers and employees
  • A detailed plan of how your company or organization will monitor its approach to health and safety, AND
  • How the approach to health and safety is expected to lead to success

By including these things, your OHS policy statement will turn out more detailed and clearer for your company.

Conclusion

So, there you have it!

Creating an effective OHS policy statement doesn’t have to be a manner of bending over backwards. In fact, by taking this quick guide into account, your policy statement will communicate awareness of protecting the workforce and everyone else involved.

Good luck!

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About the Author

Lauren Groff is a writer and editor at Custom Essayand ... Read More

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