Why is a Health and Safety Policy so important?

In short, it’s the law. The longer answer is that as an employer you have moral, financial and legal responsibility for the health and safety of everyone who works for you.

Health & Safety Policy

Your health and safety policy is your key document outlining your approach to health and safety and how you manage it. It will say who does what, and when, and how it is done.

If you have more than 5 employees, it must be written down.

Your health and safety policy should include:

  • A Statement of Intent – your general policy on, and commitment to, managing health and safety at work. This should be signed, dated, and reviewed regularly by the most senior person in the company.
  • Responsibilities – the names, positions, and roles of the people in your business and which aspect(s) of health and safety they have responsibility for.
  • Arrangements – details of the practical arrangements you have in place for each aspect of health and safety, showing how you will achieve your policy aims, for example, doing a risk assessment, training employees, and using safety signs or equipment.

Your signed and dated policy statement must:

  • be displayed in a prominent position, demonstrating your commitment to health and safety.
  • be reviewed at least once a year, and whenever there are any changes made that could affect health and safety in your business.
  • be shared with everyone you have responsibility for so that the policy may be implemented. If your employees haven’t read it, how can they adhere to it?
  • also be shared with new starters too so that they may understand their role with regards health and safety and more about how the business works. Don’t forget to record it!
  • be followed by everyone in the business every day. It’s one thing having a policy and getting everyone to read it and agree to it, but it must be enforced. Everyone is responsible for the policy being followed. It is the only way to ensure that everyone is kept safe.

Remember!  If your business is going for an accreditation such as Safe Contractor, CHAS or Construction Line for example, you will need to submit evidence that it has been formally communicated such as a signed acknowledgement sheet.