Health and Safety Policies

Making health and safety work for your business

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.

Do I need a health and safety policy?

A documented health and safety policy is a legal requirement if you employ five or more people. If you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down, though it is considered useful to do so if, for example, something changes.

How do I develop a health and safety policy?

Your health and safety policy should have three parts, as explained below:

Part 1 - Statement of intent. In your statement you should list your company's aims for health and safety. You should use simple language. You, as the owner or most senior person in the company, should sign and date the statement. You should also set a review date. You must also display your statement of intent where all employees can read it, for example on the staff notice board.

Part 2 - Responsibilities for health and safety. This section of the policy lists the names, positions and roles of the people within your company who have specific responsibility for health and safety.

Part 3 - Arrangements for health and safety. The arrangements section gives details of the specific systems and procedures you have in place. This part of your policy should describe in detail how you control the risks associated with your business activities. You must tailor this to your specific business. For example, there is no point in describing your safety rules for dealing with chemicals if you don't use chemicals.


PDI Health & Safety Consultants, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire