A health and safety policy is an important document that a business can use to outline its health and safety standards.
Download our free health and safety policy template to make sure you’re covered and read on to find out why you need one, what yours should include, and how to make sure it complies with the law.
Download a free health and safety policy template
Free health and safety policy template – Word download
Choose to download your template now, or get it directly from Farillio’s site where you’ll also get access to their full suite of customisable legal templates.
This document has been produced by Farillio so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We’d recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.
What is a health and safety policy?
Whether you’re self-employed, run a partnership, or a limited company, a health and safety policy is an important document that all businesses need to have.
A health and safety policy provides more structure for growing businesses that are hiring new staff, implementing new processes, or moving to new premises.
Every business’s policy will be different depending on how many employees they have and what sector they operate in. However, all policies will include information on key topics such as first aid and risk assessments.
A good health and safety statement will be clear, accessible, and easy for employees to understand.
What to include in a health and safety policy
A health and safety policy clearly explains what it’s there to do, including:
understanding and managing risks
maintaining safe conditions for employees and the public
keeping staff up to date with changes to the company’s processes
It’ll need to outline who’s responsible for each area of health and safety, including things like first aid, fire safety, and relevant training.
Most health and safety policies also explain the procedure for when accidents happen and all the information staff need to know about the company’s health and safety practices.
How to write a health and safety policy
Most health and safety policies are split into three parts: a statement of intent, responsibilities, and arrangements. Download our free template for a health and safety policy example.
Statement of intent
This section will give an overview of your company’s approach to health and safety.
It’ll usually give details of the policy’s aims, such as:
maintaining safe and healthy working conditions
managing risks effectively
reviewing and revising the policy regularly
training staff on health and safety
Responsibilities for health and safety
This section will outline who’s responsible for each health and safety responsibility and their role in the business. For example, your HR director may also be your designated first aider.
It’s important to make sure that you appoint people with the right skills for each position.
Arrangements for health and safety
This part of the policy will explain how you’ll achieve the health and safety aims set out in the statement of intent. It’ll give details of the arrangements you have in place, for example:
completing risk assessments
putting up relevant safety signs
training employees regularly
The arrangements section is also where you’ll set out what’ll happen if people don’t follow the company’s health and safety procedures.
Is a health and safety policy a legal requirement?
Put simply, yes. If you don’t have a company health and safety policy in place, you could be breaking the law.
Businesses in England, Wales, and Scotland need to comply with:
To do this, you’ll need an up to date health and safety policy document.
If you have five or more employees, the policy will need to be in writing. Even if you’re a sole trader and work with contractors, it’s useful to have everything written down in the event of an incident, or if you’re hoping to expand in the future.
You’ll also need to make sure your risk assessment process is up to date, and that you meet any industry-specific regulations, such as Nataha’s Law for catering businesses.
Does my business need a health and safety policy?
As well as being a legal requirement, a health and safety policy helps you to make sure you have the right processes in place and that people are accountable for key areas of health and safety, such as first aid.
A health and safety policy allows you to manage risk and reduce the chances of accidents happening, helping your business to grow and run smoothly.
How often should a business review its health and safety policy?
Your health and safety at work policy should be reviewed at least once a year. It’s likely you’ll need to review the policy if you make any significant changes to your business, such as:
working with new equipment or machinery
starting a new department within the business
moving to a new location or refurbishing your current premises
Another reason you may need to review your health and safety policy is if an incident occurs, such as staff raising safety concerns about processes or someone getting seriously injured because of an accident.
How to review a health and safety policy
Reviewing your health and safety policy is an important process, but it shouldn’t be too complicated.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
look over your policy and make sure it reflects the business as it’s currently operating
conduct risk assessments and inspections, speaking with key members of staff to make sure everything is covered
make a record of discussions and suggested changes to the policy
Once you’ve decided what changes you’re going to make, you’ll need to update your policy with any new information and a refreshed date.
You’ll then need to make it available to staff and replace the old version anywhere where it’s published, such as in your office or on the company intranet.
Why use a health and safety template by Farillio?
Farillio created their documentation (including this free health and safety policy) specifically with small business owners and the self-employed in mind. It helps you meet your legal responsibilities, providing solutions for your particular needs.
Our partnership with them lets us bring you quality, customisable legal documentation. See all our business resources from Farillio.
Here are some more free guides and templates designed in partnership with Farillio:
Do you need employers’ liability insurance?
If you employ people, having employers’ liability insurance is likely to be a legal requirement.
This cover can protect your business when health and safety issues occur if your employees get injured or sick as a result of working for you.
Read our guide to employers’ liability insurance to find out how much it costs, what it covers, and how claims work.
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