Generally speaking, and there are exceptions, if you employ less than 5 people you don’t have to have written Policies. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to have them, you should, but you are not required to write then down in the form of a Policy it is optional. If you have more than 5 employees you are required to produce written policies. Procedures accompany the Policies and staff and workplace visitors should be made aware of your Policies and Procedures.
Number Two: Risk Assessments
Summary: “A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures”. (Taken from HSE website)
Where to start is the big dilemma and one suggestion is to ask yourself the following questions and record the answers.
Step 1 Identify the hazards
Step 2 Decide who might be harmed and how
Step 3 Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
Step 4 Record your findings and implement them
Step 5 Review your assessment and update if necessary
How to finish: All you have to do next by way of recording your findings is to devise a Risk Assessment Rating System. I used the one below. For each finding you need to record the severity and the liklihood of the danger happening for example 2A requires some urgent action to prevent potential harm.
|A Likely||B Possibly||C Unlikely|
|1 High||UNACCEPTABLENeeds immediate attention||URGENTNeeds action||ATTENTION must be attended to|
|2 Medium||URGENTNeeds action||SHOULD receive attention||LOW priority|
|3 Low||ATTENTIONMust be attended to||LOW Priority||LOW priority|