Why have a health and safety policy?
All companies that employ 5 or more direct employees (on the PAYE and tax for the company) must have a written Health and Safety Policy in place. The Health and Safety Policy should cover all aspects of the companies activities and be relevant to all employees.
A Health and Safety Policy is required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) the policy shows that the company takes its health and safety responsibilities seriously.
The policy has no maximum or minimum number of pages it should be bespoke to the company and cover all the necessary activities.
What is a health and safety policy?
A policy is a written statement, which has three basic parts:
- a statement section (often a single page) detailing how safety will be managed and the priority that the company gives to Health & Safety.
- an organisation section that details where responsibilities are allocated and how employees fit into the overall safety management system
- an arrangements section that contains details of how specific activities and functions are managed.
This arrangements section could include such matters as risk assessments, fire safety, first aid, accident reporting, electrical safety, work equipment, hazardous substances, manual handling and other workplace issues.