PLANNING ENSURES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE HEALTH AND SAFETY IN AN ORGANIZATION

The objective of the Occupational Safety and Health is to define the purpose, requirements and measures to be taken during the execution of the works and in the case of subsequent assistance operations. Planning is the key to ensure the effectiveness of the health and safety arrangements. It will help the organization to set the health and safety targets; to understand about the reasonably practicable solutions in the prevention of harm to people; the way of prioritization of the improvement strategies; to identify and organize the responsible individuals for the health and safety tasks; and to ensure the ways to measure and review the policy if needed.

A Health and Safety Policy is a written statement by an employer stating the company’s commitment for the protection of the health and safety of employees and to the public. It is an endorsed by management to its employees regarding their health and safety. It acknowledges the employer’s legal responsibilities. Health and safety policies will vary from one organization to another, and should reflect the particular needs and operation carried out. The policy should also reflect the relevant requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985.

As per ILO-OSH 2001, the employer, in consultation with workers and their representatives, should set out in writing an OSH policy, which should be: specific to the organization and appropriate to its size and the nature of its activities; concise, clearly written, dated and made effective by the signature of endorsement of the employer or the most senior accountable person in the organization; communicated and readily accessible to all persons at their place of work; reviewed for continuing suitability; and made available to relevant external interested parties, as appropriate. The OSH policy should include, as a minimum, the following key principles and objectives to which the organization is committed: protecting the safety and health of all members of the organization by preventing work-related injuries, ill health, diseases and incidents; complying with relevant OSH national laws and regulations, voluntary programs, collective agreements on OSH and other requirements to which the organization subscribes; ensuring that workers and their representatives are consulted and encouraged to participate actively in all elements of the OSH management system; and continually improving the performance of the OSH management system. These are covered in the basic three sections, viz., broad statement of intent which shows the organization’s commitment to health and safety, organization which explains the roles and responsibilities and arrangements that are designed to control the workplace hazards and risks. Policies need to be reviewed regularly, and whenever there is a change to the workplace, changes such as a new process, substance, regulation or moving or expanding the premises. There must also be a plan or timetable prescribed for reviewing the OSH policy of a workplace. The OSH management needs to make sure the policy is achieving its purpose, still relevant to the workplace and it provides the value for money.

Article written by

Ananth Tamilmaniarasu, 

HSE Trainer & Consultant,

Green World Group,Dubai.

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