Having a health and safety policy in place is crucial when running a business. It’s a legal requirement to have your policy in writing if you employ five or more people. You should also make sure your policy contains the right information, in case a health and safety inspector pays you a visit.
So, when it comes to putting together your health and safety policy, what should you include?
Key sections of your policy
First, it’s important to mention that a good health and safety policy is set out in three sections. These are policy statement, responsibilities, and arrangements.
Understanding each section and what it should cover, which is relevant specifically to your business, can help you know what to include when writing your policy.
Policy statementThis is your statement of general policy on health and safety in business. Sometimes called a general statement of intent, the statement, which you should sign and date, should set out your commitment to health and safety in your place of work.
The section should highlight your key aims to keep anyone safe, who is involved in different areas of your business. This includes your employees, visiting clients and contractors. Examples of aims could include appointing some of your staff as health and safety representatives, having the correct safety equipment available when employees use machinery, and making sure all relevant training is given.
The statement should also address how you will tell people about your policy. For instance, by uploading a copy to your staff intranet, or making sure it’s displayed in an accessible area in your office.
Responsibilities sectionThis should set out who is responsible for the specific areas of health and safety in your company, identifying their roles and responsibilities. This could be one employee or several members of staff, depending on the size of your business.
You might, for instance, require a person who’s responsible for health and safety in your warehouse. You might also need someone to oversee your first aid procedures, or a representative who conducts checks to ensure your equipment is safe to use.