Preparing a Health and Safety Policy
As an employer it’s your responsibility to keep your employees safe whilst they’re at work and a health & safety policy is in most cases, a legal requirement.
What is a Health and Safety Policy?
A health and safety policy outlines your commitment to safe ways of working. It provides clear communication for employee safety, what you’ll do to protect them, as well as when and how you’ll do it.
It shows employees that you genuinely care about their well-being and it can help foster a culture where safety is at the very heart of your organisation, encouraging employee engagement and uptake.
Do I need a Health & Safety Policy?
If you have five or more employees, it’s a legal requirement to have a written Health & Safety policy, if you have less than five employees, a Health & Safety policy is still useful to have, for example it may give your employees and clients confidence in your ability to manage health and safety.
Your will also require a policy if you wish to obtain accreditation under a Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) such as CHAS or Constructionline, regardless of how many people you employ.
Do I need to write my Health and Safety Policy down?
If you have five or more employees, you must write your policy down to be legally compliant.
If you have fewer than five employees you don’t have to write anything down, but it is useful to do so to give you a clear, written reference to refer to should you ever need to.
What does my Policy need to contain?
A Health & Safety Policy must contain three separate parts:
- Health & Safety Policy Statement of Intent (aims and objectives);
- Organisation of health and safety (who has responsibility for what); and
- Arrangements for health and safety (how risks are managed)
The Policy really is the cornerstone on which you state how you will protect your employees’ health and safety and should be regarded as both a source of information and also a working document.
A key element within the policy is the management of risks, the process for completing risk assessments and the responsibility for completing and reviewing these should be clearly stated.
It must be subject to an annual review as a minimum.
What is the legal reference relating to the need for a health and safety policy?
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 and are supported by a guidance document referred to as HS(G)65 Managing for Health and Safety (this is a free publication available from the HSE website).
If you don’t have Health & Safety policies in place, you may find yourself facing a fine of up to £20,000 in a Magistrate’s Court and an unlimited fine in the Crown Court.
What’s the purpose of a Health & Safety policy?
The aim of a Health & Safety policy is quite simply to improve the overall safety of your business, reducing workplace accidents and injuries, outlining you and your employee’s responsibilities when it comes to safety in the workplace.
How Primed can help
Primed, our online system gives you access to extensive online resources drafted by our health & safety experts. Access template health and safety policies, risk assessments with step-by-step guidance.
Primed is free for the next 12 months, supporting businesses throughout 2021. Sign up for free today.
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Not sure if your health and safety policy is up to scratch or unsure how your business is managing its safety requirements? Whatever your situation our Primed Premium Safety package can help you with unlimited telephone and email advice from our safety experts and support with your health and safety policies, for an affordable monthly fee, as well as giving you access to a Competent Person and an annual safety audit.
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Primed gives you access to extensive online templates and documents and is free for the next 12 months, supporting businesses throughout 2021.
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Initial and annual safety audit
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Access extensive health & safety templates and policies in Primed, our online system