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What is a workplace health and safety policy

Workplace health and safety policy is the starting point for establishing a health and safety program.

Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for their employees. Therefore, having a well-defined health and safety policy helps an employer display commitment to health and safety. Moreover, the most important thing about a policy statement is that it must be reviewed at least annually.

Legislative requirements regarding workplace health and safety policy

Sec 25 of the OHSA states that a company with more than 5 employees must:

  • Prepare a written occupational health and safety policy
  • Develop and maintain a program to implement the above health and safety policy
  • Post that written policy in a conspicuous place
  • Review the health and safety policy annually

Who signs a policy statement and where is it posted?

Top management member for that location in Ontario signs the policy statement for the company. Moreover, the company posts its policy statement at its entrance or any other prominent place within the premises.

A policy statement communicates employer’s strong commitment  

A policy statement is an effective way to communicate the organization’s commitment towards worker health and safety. Senior management’s attitude and management-labour relations help in determining how the company views and addresses workplace health and safety. Moreover, other factors such as community interests and use of technology also play a vital part.

Workplaces with good health and safety records have established their responsibility for correcting health and safety concerns. Therefore, they have been able to enhance the relationship between the management and labour.

A clear and concise policy statement reflects the management’s commitment, support, and attitude towards its health and safety program. Further, a policy statement shows how much a company cares for its workers’ safety and protection.

Rising costs of occupational injury and illness make it very important for employers and workers to address workplace health and safety concerns. The first major step in this direction involves developing an adequate health and safety policy and program.

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