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Health and Safety Policy Statements

Introduction and Legal Requirements

INTRODUCTION

Businesses need to consider adopting health and safety policies which contribute to their business performance. Policies should be cost effective and aimed at preserving and developing both human and physical resources within the business whilst also achieving reductions in financial losses and liabilities. The length of a policy will probably be related to the size, extent, complexity or inherent hazards of your business.  A link with risk assessments should be considered - for example the procedures that need to be written down as a result of risk assessment could be incorporated into the arrangements section of your policy statement. More and more client businesses are asking for details of safety policies to help ensure the safety of their own employees.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires employers of five or more people to have a written health and safety policy statement. It should be specific to their business, setting out their general policy for protecting the health and safety of their employees at work, their organisation and arrangements for putting the policy into practice. The companies policy must be brought to the notice of all employees and be revised whenever appropriate, any revisions should also be brought to employees' attention.  Although a safety policy legally only concerns employees' safety, it is good practice to include considerations on the safety of other persons e.g. contractors, members of the public, or anyone who may be affected by the work activities.