why do you need a health and safety policy

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Your business must have a health and safety policy, and if you have fewer than five employees, you donвt have to write anything down. The statement of general policy on health and safety at work sets out your commitment to managing health and safety effectively, and what you want to achieve
The responsibility section The arrangements section To help you structure your policy, we\’ve provided an and or templates. The arrangements section should say how you will meet the commitments you have made in your statement of health and safety policy. Include information on how you are going to eliminate or reduce the risks of hazards in your workplace. What do we mean by \’hazard\’ and \’risk\’? A hazard is something in your business that could cause harm to people, such as chemicals, electricity and working at height. A risk is the chance в however large or small в that a hazard could cause harm.

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The additional actions you take to manage health and safety should be set out in the arrangements section of your policy. They could include: improved safety equipment, such as guards or additional personal protective equipment, including goggles, safety boots or high-visibility clothingВ Focus your attention on the activities that could present a risk to people or cause serious harm. Do I need a health and safety policy? A documented health and safety policy is a legal requirement if you employ five or more people. If you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down, though it is considered useful to do so if, for example, something changes. How do I develop a health and safety policy? Your health and safety policy should have three parts, as explained below: Part 1 – Statement of intent In your statement you should list your company s aims for health and safety.

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You should use simple language. You, as the owner or most senior person in the company, should sign and date the statement. You should also set a review date. You must also display your statement of intent where all employees can read it, for example on the staff notice board. Part 2 – Responsibilities for health and safety This section of the policy lists the names, positions and roles of the people within your company who have specific responsibility for health and safety. Part 3 – Arrangements for health and safety The arrangements section gives details of the specific systems and procedures you have in place. This part of your policy should describe in detail how you you control the risks associated with your business activities.

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You must tailor this to your specific business. For example, there is no point in describing your safety rules for dealing with chemicals if you don t use chemicals. For more information on how to develop a health and safety policy download the HSENI publication. Where can I find a health and safety policy template and a worked example? The following example of a health and safety policy shows how a small office-based company might complete their policy. A blank template is also provided to help you complete your policy: Please note that these links are to the original legislation, visitors should verify for themselves whether legislation is in force or whether it has been amended or repealed by subsequent legislation.

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