What is a safety statement?

09 July 2019

A safety statement is a written programme of action that sets out how your business safeguards the:

  • Health & safety of employees while they’re at work.
  • Health & safety of all people who might be at your workplace including customers, visitors and members of the public

A health and safety statement is a legal requirement under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.   

A safety statement in Ireland-based businesses is a written commitment setting out how an organisation ensures the health & safety of all people using the workplace.

That includes what resources are relied upon to ensure the workplace complies with the most recent health & safety regulations.

The risk assessment

Because all safety statements should be based on a risk assessment of the workplace, there is no safety statement template that all businesses can use.

Each safety statement must be tailored to the business it relates to. To comply with health & safety regulations, all safety statements should guide the:

  • Selection of competent people, equipment and materials.
  • Way work is completed.
  • How goods and services are provided.

Put it down in writing

The law requires you to write down the safety statement. You must also ensure appropriate action is taken to put the guidance in the safety statement into action.

You must also monitor the statement for relevance as the demands of your business changes.

Communicate it to staff

Of course, you also need to make sure to communicate the safety statement to all staff, and to anyone else to whom it applies.

The safety statement is only effective if the relevant people are aware of the hazards in your workplace and how any risks are assessed and controlled.

Why do employers need to prepare a safety statement?

First off, because it’s the law. Businesses throughout Ireland are regularly inspected by the staff from the Health & Safety Authority (HSA).

Safety statements based on risk assessments are vital to avoid serious sanctions.

A good safety statement also contributes to your bottom line. Avoiding workplace accidents can lower your insurance premiums and ensure that employees remain healthy and productive.

Taking time to develop an effective safety statement will also allow you to comply with the employer’s duty of care to ensure the health and safety of employees while they’re at work.

The safety statement must be tailored to your business

We hear from a lot of businesses who ask us for safety statement examples. As we mention earlier, each business needs a unique version.

A restaurant’s safety statement will be very different from a nursing home’s. It’s important to tailor each one to the business it relates to.

One common feature of all safety statements are certain commitments the employer makes with regard to maintaining a strong health & safety culture.

Some safety commitment statement examples include:

  • A commitment to comply with all legal obligations under health & safety law.
  • A commitment to maintain a culture of openness, consultation and cooperation ensuring all employees contribute to safety and know how to recognise signs of safety or danger as per the statement.

Who signs a safety statement?

The document typically opens with a health & safety personal statement.

It’s a declaration your business must commit to. Here’s a personal commitment to safety statement example:

“We recognise our responsibilities under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and all relevant health and safety legislation that protects the health and safety of our workforce whilst at work and others who could be affected by our work activities.”

A safety statement, once prepared, should be signed by a senior management employee on behalf of the employer.

Health & safety committees

Some larger organisations may put health & safety committees in place to help implement health & safety initiatives.

Much like a personal health & safety statement signed by a member of the senior management team, a safety committee mission statement example is the inclusion of a commitment to provide a forum to allow employees to participate in the promotion of a safe work environment.

As mentioned earlier, there are as many health & safety mission statement examples as there are businesses.

This because each company needs to make their safety statement specific to their particular activity.

The safety statement should include a declaration and commitment to ensure the workplace is as safe and healthy as possible.

But you must tailor the remainder of the document to the results of a risk assessment carried out by the business.

Need more help with safety statements?

If you would like further complimentary advice from a health & safety expert, our advisors are ready to take your call any time day or night. Call us on 0818 923 923.

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