Industrial technician conducts health and safety check

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Health and Safety

Information about your Health and Safety responsibilities as a business owner.

Health and Safety Policy Statement

A health and safety policy statement sets out how you manage health and safety within your workplace. It demonstrates the company’s attitude towards health and safety and the steps, arrangements and systems the company has in place to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation. It is important that it is specific to your company and the activities that you undertake.

When is a health and safety policy statement required?

There is a requirement under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to have a written health and safety policy if five or more people are employed in a business.

What is required by a health and safety policy?

Writing a health and safety policy is more than just a legal requirement. It demonstrates a company’s commitment to achieving good health and safety standards. It should also clearly set out what is required by the employer and employee of a company and show that you strive to reduce accidents and ill health within the workplace. The statement is important because it is your basic action plan on health and safety, which all your employees should read, understand and follow. It should ensure good health and safety standards within your workplace, if it is well thought out, has your backing, commands respect and it is thoroughly put into practice.

A health and safety policy statement should:

  • Be in writing.
  • Contain a general statement of intent.
  • Show who within the organisation has responsibilities for health and safety and state , what they are, e.g. advice, first aid, accident reporting.
  • Describe the companies arrangements (systems and procedures) that are in place for ensuring employees health and safety.
  • Be brought to the attention of all employees.
  • Be revised whenever appropriate, and every revision must be brought to your employee’s attention.

How should the statement be set out?

There is no general rule. However, your general policy, organisation and arrangements must all be included in your policy. Splitting the policy up into these three main categories makes it logical and easy to understand. It is generally more effective if every day; language is used to write your policy because remember, it is for all your employees to read and understand.

Where can I find out more?

Further information can be found at the Heath and Safety Executive.