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Legal Liability
Risk Management
Guidelines on Creating a Policy
Guidelines on Creating a Procedure
Implementing Policy and Procedures
Sample Risk Management Policypdf
Sample Motor Vehicle Safety Policypdf
Policy and Procedurespdf(All information)
*Compiled with Canadian Risk Intervention Inc.

Policy and Procedures*

Policies and procedures are in place to ensure that duties and services are performed in a consistent manner. The benefits of being consistent are:

  • Employees understand what is expected of them.
  • Disputes may be resolved by determining whether or not policies and procedures have been followed.
  • Plans are already in place in the case of an emergency.
  • Customers receive a consistent level of service that may increase customer satisfaction.
  • It provides proof that your organization has strict performance requirements for employees/volunteers, which, in the end, could improve the defensibility of claims.
  • It protects the image of the organization.

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Legal Liability

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One of the best ways to prevent losses and to defend them should they occur is to have, and follow, written policies and procedures.

It is important to note that no one can accurately predict what claims will end up in court or what the decision of the court will be. Policies and procedures may be a very effective way to defend against claims and lawsuits, but they must be strictly followed and well documented to be effective. If you have policies that you do not use or follow, you may be in a worse legal position than if you didn’t have them.

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Risk Management

Depending on your organization, other policies and procedures may also be needed. Many organizations are exposed to similar risks, and the following policies and procedures should be considered:

  • Screening and Hiring of Employees/Volunteers
  • Contingency Plans (Business Continuity Plans)
  • Inspections and Maintenance of Buildings/Premises
  • Employee Training
  • Contract Review (to ensure contracts are analyzed with a view to limiting liabilities)
  • Emergency Plans
  • Accident and Incident Reporting
  • Financial Management
  • Privacy
  • Ethics
  • Employee Discipline and Dismissal

There are many other policies that an organization might create, depending on the different activities and duties that the organization performs. For example, a restaurant may require a policy for food preparation and service and alcohol service.

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Guidelines on creating a policy:

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Create policies for any operation that you need done consistently and in a particular manner.

  • Document the policy in writing.
  • Include the inception date and any revision dates so that there is no mistake about which version is current.
  • Ensure that the policy is compliant with federal, provincial and municipal regulations.
  • Find a template that fits your organization.
  • State the purpose of your policy.
  • Set out in clear and simple terms what your policy is for, how it is to be carried out and by whom.
  • Keep it simple – one to two pages are usually sufficient.

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Guidelines on creating a procedure:

  • Create step-by-step instructions on how to complete important tasks.
  • Provide supervisor contact information in case an employee needs to obtain authorization to go beyond the stated procedure.

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Implementing policies and procedures:

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To be effective, policies must be written, strictly followed and enforced, and the records must be retained.

1. Consider obtaining feedback from employees, customers and other stakeholders about what should be placed in the policy/procedure.

2. Create policies and procedures following the guidelines presented above.

3. Put policies and procedures in writing.

4. Develop forms and reports to supplement policies and procedures. For example, create an inspection and maintenance form that must be completed as part of the inspection and maintenance policy. Keep all forms and reports on file. Obtain legal advice to determine how long forms should be kept.

5. Clearly communicate policies and procedures to employees and other stakeholders to create buy-in. Acknowledge feedback.

  • Hold an orientation meeting.
  • Distribute a copy of all policies and procedures to employees – consider creating a handbook (if necessary, ask employees to sign a copy of all policies and procedures to ensure they have read and understood the content).
  • Post information in common areas (e.g., lunch room).
  • Train and mentor employees.

6. Make sure policies and procedures are followed. Policies and procedures are useless if no one uses them.

  • Perform audits and document them.
  • Assign a person to be responsible for tracking progress.

7. Change and update policies and procedures as necessary.

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