What is a health and safety policy?

A health and safety policy is a document outlining an organisations commitment and approach to managing health and safety in the workplace.

The policy is ultimately signed off by the person at the head of the organisation. Usually there are three sections to a health and safety policy, these include:

  • Statement of Intent – Sets out the organisations aims and objectives.
  • Roles and Responsibilities – Outlines who has specific responsibility for managing health and safety and what they are responsible for.
  • Arrangements – This section is likely to be the largest part of your health and safety policy. It details how risks are managed in the workplace. Example of the arrangements detailed in health and safety policies include: risk assessments; safety procedures; training of workers; consultations such as safety committees or on-site meetings; emergency and evacuation arrangements.

Who creates the policy in the workplace?

A health and safety policy should be completed by a competent person, this will usually be the individual responsible for health and safety on site. A health and safety policy needs the buy-in in of all stakeholders, particularly the ones who have significant roles and responsibilities for safety on site – this will ensure your policy is accurate and fit for purpose.

How often should a policy be reviewed?

In many countries it’s a requirement that a health and safety policy is reviewed, and amended if necessary, on an annual basis. IOSH would suggest that an annual review is best practice for most organisations. However, if your organisation undergoes frequent changes, reviewing the policy more regularly is recommended.

How to implement a health and safety policy

To ensure a robust health and safety policy within your organisation, it’s vital that there is someone in the business who fully understands the importance of health and safety and has the authority to implement the policy. Our Level 3 Certificate is the ideal course for those needing to learn more about safety and health and gain a deeper understanding of safety and health in a business context.

  • All
  • All
  • IOSH News release