What do I need to include in a Safety Policy?

Sarah Daniels The RedCat Partnership Ltd

You may have been asked to right or review your company's Health and Safety Policy- but where do you start!

The Health and Safety at Work Act just says that you have to have one! There is a template one on the Health and Safety Executives website - but it is brief and it needs tweaking to fit your business

So where do you start? A Safety Policy should have 3 distinct parts; the Safety policy statement- which gives the company's intent and commitment to Health and Safety

Then the organisation bit whicgh details who & how you are going to manage Safety, and then the Arrangements- which is the real detail- statements and how you are going to manage safety in your organisations key hazard areas

Let's begin 

1. Health & Safety Policy Statement

General statement in accordance with the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974,
Section 3

It is the policy of  XX (“the Company”) that its operations are executed at all times in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all its employees and all others including s  who could be affected by our activities. To this end it is the Company’s policy:

• To promote a positive Safety Culture throughout the Organisation

• To plan, organise and control our work activities to ensure the health and safety risks arising from, and in connection with, our work activities are removed or controlled

• To consult employees on matters affecting their health and safety

• To provide information, instruction and supervision for employees

• To actively prevent accidents and work related ill health

• To ensure proper welfare facilities and arrangements are in place

• To undertake Risk Assessments

• To review and revise this policy on an annual basis

This Policy applies to The Company’s operations at XXXX

Signed on behalf of XX

Date XX
2. Organisation 

Who is responsible? For example
• Overriding responsibility – name & what responsible for
• Day to Day responsibilities
• Employees responsibilities
• Arrangements for visitors & contractors
• Competent assistance- this is required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation Section 7 – ensure who is assisted you is competent (trained/ knowledge/ experience)
• Enforcement- list the contact details of the Enforcement officer
• First Aid- where are First Aid boxes & who are the First Aiders, include RIDDOR
• Fire Safety- Who manages this- the testing of extinguishers/ alarms/ fire drills- who are the Marshalls
• Emergency provision & contact details including security
• Risk Assessments; who is going to do them & where kept
• Consultation / communication with staff
• Training including Induction & any specialised training

3. Main Hazard Areas

Give a statement on each of the key hazard areas facing your business; topics could include those listed below; you could simply add a do/ don't list for each; it needs to be clear to the reader (your staff) what is expected on them

  • Electrical safety
  • Gas Safety
  • COSHH
  •  Manual handling
  • Slips trips & falls
  •  Lone working
  • Working with Display Screen Equipment
  •  Equipment
  •  Driving for work & use of vehicles at work 
  • Asbestos
  •  Legionella
  •  Work at height
  • Housekeeping
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Security including interface with the public and cash handling 
  • Stress etc etc
  • Review table; that the policy is reviewed at least every year- you do not need to rewrite it; but it will need looking at to make sure that it is relevant

A good detailed Safety Policy that is effectively communicated to your staff does make the Risk Assessment process a lot easier too!

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