Carrying out risk assessments, preparing and implementing a safety statement and keeping both up to date will not in themselves prevent accidents and ill health but they will play a crucial part in reducing their likelihood.
The aim is to make sure that no one gets hurt or becomes ill. Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and can affect your business too if the output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase, or you have to go to court.
Employers, managers, and supervisors should all ensure that workplace practices reflect the risk assessments and safety statement. Behaviour, the way in which everyone works, must reflect the safe working practices laid down in these documents.
Supervisory checks and audits should be carried out to determine how well the aims set down are being achieved. Corrective action should be taken when required. If a workplace is provided for use by others, the safety statement must also set out the safe work practices that are relevant to them.
When an inspector from the Health and Safety Authority inspects a workplace, he or she will place great emphasis on ensuring that a good safety and health management programme is in place.
If an accident happens, Authority inspectors and others will examine carefully the relevant risk assessments, safety statement, procedures and work practices. Make sure they stand up to the examination. If the inspector finds that one of these is inadequate, he or she can ask the employer to revise it. Employers can be prosecuted if they do not have a safety statement.