What is a Health & Safety policy?

If you have over 5 members of staff, it is the law to have a written Health & Safety policy. This demonstrates the commitment your organisation has to protecting people from risk. 

The benefit to you is that it clears in your mind how you are going to manage Health & Safety in your organisation.

What should you put in it? Where do you start?

Look no further with Ellis Whittam’s Health & Safety support we will draft your Health & Safety policy

Written Policy

If you employ five or more people you’re legally required to have a written Health & Safety policy.

What should your Health & Safety Policy contain?   

The Health & Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) 1974 says this policy must contain three separate parts:

  • Policy Statement of Intent
  • The organisation of Health & Safety
  • Arrangements for Health & Safety

Part 1: Policy Statement of Intent

This part should detail your Health & Safety aims and objectives. It should also set out how you intend to manage Health & Safety issues.

You should use clear and simple language.

A statement of intent should commit to:

  • identifying the main hazards and adequately controlling the associated risks
  • meeting the HSWA’s requirements
  • meeting the additional requirements of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • making sure employees are competent and adequately trained
  • consulting employees on Health & Safety issues. This means giving them the necessary information, training and supervision
  • having the resources to achieve the stated objectives
  • meeting specific Health & Safety performance targets

Targets show your commitment to improving Health & Safety performance and can help motivate staff. Common targets include:

  • reducing the number of accidents, incidents and cases of work-related ill health
  • improving sickness absence
  • increasing the number of Health & Safety trained employees
  • increased reporting of minor accidents and ‘near misses’
  • reduced civil claims
  • zero enforcement notices
  • achieving recognised Health & Safety standards such as OHSAS 18001

Furthermore, the statement of intent should also set out how the policy is to be communicated.

Your policy will need reviewing within 12 months (at the very least) and if required revised.

Part 2: Organisation of Health & Safety 

This part should set out the names, positions and duties of those with specific responsibility for Health & Safety.

It should also summarise the duties of employees – namely to take ‘reasonable care’ for their own and others’ Health & Safety.

Part 3: Arrangements for Health & Safety

This part identifies your arrangements for managing and controlling Health & Safety risks.

It should detail the specific systems and procedures used to put in place the statement of intent. This will include your organisation’s Health & Safety rules and procedures as well as its facilities such as first aid and washrooms.

This part commonly includes risk assessments (including COSHH, PPE and manual handling). Also, you should add arrangements for fire and other emergencies and for information, instruction, training and supervision. There should also be information about how particular arrangements are managed.

The arrangements section is likely to be the biggest part of your policy. Policies though are not supposed to be complicated – yours should reflect what you do and how you manage it.

Get Specialist Help

A written Health & Safety policy is the centrepiece of safety management. It should clearly persuade, explain, assign and insist on the who, what, where and why you are managing risk. 

The written policy need is your biggest task and there can be no ‘one size fits all’. This is why having a Health & Safety company write your Health & Safety policy is so important. It means it will accurately reflect your values and your approach.

But if you feel you don’t have the necessary skill, experience or time, then let Ellis Whittam specialists tailor one to suit.

Our Health & Safety specialists will:

  • craft your policy to keep you fully compliant
  • act as your ‘Competent Person’
  • create your General Risk Assessment
  • wholly support you on site in Health & Safety matters

Why Ellis Whittam?

Health & Safety law is complex. And it constantly changes. With Ellis Whittam’s Health & Safety support behind you, we will cut out the complexity and show you, in a clear and concise manner, your at-risk areas.

While there are countless Health & Safety companies – ask yourself, what do they know about the law?

Talk to the Professionals

Ellis Whittam’s experienced consultants have outstanding relevant qualifications. Recognised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

With a much more suitable skillset, Ellis Whittam’s consultants are best placed to keep your organisation on the right side of the law!

Contact us for more information.