Safetip #6: Occupational Health & Safety Policy Statement
Why Have a Written OHS Policy Statement?
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS), a written occupational health and safety policy helps promote an effective OHS program. In addition, the Ministry of Labour of the Canadian province of Ontario says that a policy statement is an effective way to communicate the employer’s commitment to worker safety and health.
What Should Be Included in the OHS Policy Statement?
The CCOHS provides the following list of issues that should be covered in the policy statement:
- A clear indication of the company’s objectives and plans for occupational health and safety.
- Senior management’s commitment to the establishment of a healthy and safe workplace, and to the integration of health and safety into all workplace activities.
- The intention to treat basic safety and health legislation as a minimum standard rather than a maximum.
- Responsibility of all personnel in maintaining a safe workplace.
- Accountability of all levels of management for carrying out health and safety responsibilities.
- Importance of consultation and cooperation between management and employees for effective implementation of policy.
- Commitment to regular reviews of the policy and to monitor its effectiveness.
- Commitment to provide adequate funds and details of how money will be available.
The policy statement should be signed by the employer and a member of upper management (e.g. President, CEO, or C-suite executive). This would demonstrate a clear commitment by the company and its senior management.
Here are links to additional resources on an OHS policy statement:
- Guide to Writing an OHS Policy Statement
- Appendix A: How to Prepare an Occupational Health and Safety Policy. This site includes an actual example of a policy statement that you can use.
- Sample OH&S policy statement from Enterprise Melbourne (PDF document)
- OHS Policy Statement from Lloyd’s of London (PDF document)
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