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Health and Safety Policy

What is a health and safety policy?

A health and safety policy sets out your general approach and commitment together with the arrangements you have put in place for managing health and safety in your business. It is a unique document that says who does what, when and how.

The policy is usually made up of three parts:-

  1. A Statement of Intent (what you intend to do) - A written policy statement which shows your staff, and anyone else, your commitment to health and safety.
  2. Organisation details (who will be involved) - This section names those who will have responsibilities for health and safety matters in your company.
  3. Arrangements (how you will put it in place) - This section explains how you will control the main hazards that have been identified in your risk assessment.

Your health and safety policy will only be effective if it is acted upon and followed by you and your staff. It should be reviewed regularly (at least annually) or sooner if there are changes to work processes, plant, equipment or staff.

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Do I need a health and safety policy?

No matter what size your company is, you will need to have certain arrangements, procedures or rules in place to make sure that accidents are prevented during the course of your day-to-day business. It is good practice to record all of these details in a policy document. If you have five or more employees, you must write your policy down.

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Where can I get more help to draw up a health and safety policy?

The following templates will give you an idea of the kind of information you need to record.

If you have 5 employees or more we would recommend that you use the original Health and Safety Policy Template

If however you are; self-employed, work in a low risk environment or have less than 5 employees, we would recommend the Health and Safety Policy Template (low risk/self-employed/less than 5)

If you have less than 5 employees you may also find the Combined Health and Safety Policy & Risk Assessment Template useful. This template will enable you to record your Health and Safety Policy and Risk Assessment on the same document.

Please feel free however to record and store the information in any form you choose. You are not required to use these formats.

Health and Safety Policy Template (132KB) pub 02/10

Health and Safety Policy Template (low risk/self-employed/less than 5) (906KB) pub 07/10

Combined Health and Safety Policy and Risk Assessment Template (0.98MB) pub 07/10

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Where can I find worked examples of a health and safety policy?

The following examples show how a small company might complete a health and safety policy. These worked examples can be used as a guide when thinking about what you need to include in your own policy.

Example Health and Safety Policy (199KB) pub 06/10

Example Health and Safety Policy (low risk/self-employed/less than 5) (128KB) pub 07/11

If you would like to discuss your health and safety policy with one of our business advisers please Contact Us or complete and submit the form on the On-site Visits page.

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