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How to prepare a health and safety policy – advice from Health & Safety Executive

  • Overview

The law says that every business must have a policy for managing health and safety.

A health and safety policy sets out your general approach to health and safety. It explains how you, as an employer, will manage health and safety in your business. It should clearly say who does what, when and how.

If you have five or more employees, you must write your policy down. If you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down, but it is useful to do so.

You must share the policy, and any changes to it, with your employees.

  • How to write your policy

Your policy should cover three areas.

Part 1: Statement of intent

State your general policy on health and safety at work, including your commitment to managing health and safety and your aims. As the employer or most senior person in the company, you should sign it and review it regularly.

Part 2: Responsibilities for health and safety

List the names, positions and roles of the people in your business who have specific responsibility for health and safety.

Part 3: Arrangements for health and safety

Give details of the practical arrangements you have in place, showing how you will achieve your health and safety policy aims. This could include, for example, doing a risk assessment, training employees and using safety signs or equipment.

Worked example and template

To help you write your own health and safety policy, you can use this example PDF and template PDF.

The legal requirement to write a policy is included in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations explain the steps you must take to manage health and safety.

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