All employers including the self-employed must have a safety statement relating to their workplace and work activities. Too often HSA Inspectors come across generic safety statements that are prepared by someone with no real understanding of the activities undertaken by the employer.

The safety statement must be based on the risk assessment of the hazards that may affect the employees or visitors. It is the place to record the significant findings of any risk assessments. This means writing down the more significant hazards and recording the most important conclusions.  For example, a workplace where fumes from welding may pose a risk may state: “Local exhaust ventilation has been provided.  Manager to ensure that it is always used and is checked every month”.

The safety statement must be reviewed and, if necessary, amended as required. This is to be annually or more frequently if for example your business changes and your employees are exposed to new hazards e.g. the introduction of new machinery or new work practices, or when there is reason to believe that it is no longer adequate, e.g. changes to health and safety arrangements and resources or a near-miss incident.

The safety statement must be brought to the attention of the employees and to any other persons at the place of work who might be exposed to the specific risks outlined in the safety statement. When bringing the safety statement to the attention of employees, it must be in a form, manner and, if necessary, a language that can be understood by employees.