What Does Safety Statement Mean?
A safety statement is a written policy that underlines the overall intentions of a workplace toward safety within that workplace. Typical safety statements will describe both a workplace’s plan of action for achieving safety and act as a statement of pro-safety values.
Safety statements help to encourage a culture of safety, act as a commitment to workers from their employer, and provide workers with an understanding of the hazard protections they should expect to receive at their workplace. This expectation improves employer accountability by giving workers the ability to better recognize when their employer is not meeting health and safety obligations.
Safeopedia Explains Safety Statement
Depending on the jurisdiction and the work being performed, the preparation of a safety statement by an employer may be a legal requirement. For instance, the Irish Health and Safety Authority requires all employers and persons in control of a workspace to prepare a safety statement. This policy must be based on a risk assessment of the hazards present in the workplace, and it must also include emergency response plans.
The length and complexity of a safety statement depends on the scope and detail that a particular jurisdiction believes a safety statement should address. The large scope of subjects that must be covered by Irish safety statements means that the length of the statement will vary depending on the size of the workplace and the number and variety of hazards within it.
In contrast, while the Canadian province of Ontario also requires employers to prepare safety statements, the scope of these statements is restricted to a short statement of values. A program to implement the values expressed in the safety statement is required but is not considered part of the safety statement.
If a particular health and safety agency recommends but does not require the preparation of a safety statement (e.g., OSHA), that recommendation may still carry legal weight. For instance, the presence or absence of a safety statement in the workplace may be assessed by an occupational health and safety authority as part of an investigation into whether that workplace’s employer has complied with the obligation (general duty) to provide employees with a safe workplace.