Health and Safety Policy
The first answer to what documents are required to comply with Health and Safety law; is a policy. But how do you make that policy both legally compliant but also meet the needs of your business?
Your Health and Safety policy demonstrates your commitment to managing Health and Safety. It details responsibilities, what activities will take place and how you will implement them.
You must communicate it to all workers, contractors, visitors and even potentially inspectors! Therefore it is important to make sure it is up to date and fit for purpose.
If you meet these requirements it ensures your legal compliance with The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 s2(3) and if you have more than 5 employees by writing it down; The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
To make your policy a beneficial working document it should be set out into the following three sections:
Health and Safety Policy Statement
This represents your businesses vision for Health and Safety in the organisation; a good policy will be in line with your overall mission statement and values. It should be signed by the most senior person in the organisation.
This details Health and Safety roles and their responsibilities. It also covers your specific Health and Safety management systems, frameworks and communication methods such as meetings, toolbox talks etc.
Health and Safety Arrangements
These are the activities you have in place manage Health and Safety. You don’t need to duplicate policies and procedures you have in place; but inform the reader as to their purpose and where the document can be found.
Implement your Health and Safety policy
Writing a good policy and getting it signed is just the beginning!
You should implement it into your working practices. This responsibility should be given to a senior manager. You should communicate it through consultation, allowing for feedback that should be actively listened to.
Keep it safe
Storage and retention of your policy and supporting documents should be detailed in the policy. It should be accessible so consider paper and electronic copies, and as a result be in a format that you can easily updated.
Reviewing your policy will keep it up to date and relevant; and is a legal requirement. As a result an annual review takes place; or sooner following a major organisational change. Consequently you should track amendments and changes made brought to the attention of all staff, contractors etc.