What to include in a health and safety policy

A written health and safety policy must have 3 parts. These are:

  • a statement of intent, also known as a policy statement
  • details of responsible individuals in your organisation
  • an overview of your health and safety arrangements

Part 1: statement of intent

A statement of intent does not need to be a long or complicated document.

However, it does need to outline your commitment to health and safety, and your aims. In practical terms, this means it should include:

  • the name of your organisation
  • some specific points about your policy on health and safety
  • the name and signature of the most senior person in your organisation
  • the date that the current version was signed
  • the date of its next review

The specific points you include in this statement will vary depending on the size and type of your organisation. However, in many cases, these can just be short declarations about your approach to health and safety. For example, you might state that it’s your organisation’s policy to:

  • manage health and safety risks
  • prevent accidents
  • provide and maintain safe equipment

It’s important that the most senior person in the organisation signs the statement. If you’re the business owner, this will be you.

Part 2: list of responsible people

Your policy should include details of any people in your organisation who have health and safety responsibilities. This should include the names and roles of:

  • any employees who are responsible for specific areas or types of work
  • the person who has day-to-day responsibility for implementing the policy
  • the person who has overall responsibility for health and safety in your organisation

Part 3: overview of your arrangements

You should also include some information about how you will implement your policy. In practice, this could be some general points about how you’ll:

  • produce risk assessments
  • provide training and guidance
  • involve your employees in health and safety issues
  • handle serious incidents, such as evacuations