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Health and safety law poster - frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What are my legal duties - new health and safety law poster?

Employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER) to display the approved poster in a prominent position in each workplace or to provide each worker with a copy of the approved leaflet (available as a free download in alternative formats) that outlines British health and safety law.

The 2009 poster replaces the version which was published in April 1999. As well as a download, the 2009 leaflet is available in a more convenient format as a pocket card and replaces the leaflet published in April 1999.

The 1999 versions of the approved poster and leaflet are no longer available for sale.

What does the new health and safety law poster look like?

Current poster

New health and safety law poster

Previous poster

Old health and safety law poster

Why was the health and safety law poster changed

Research showed that the 1999 versions of the law poster and law leaflet were visually unappealing and rarely read. They were redesigned to be more readable and engaging. The poster and leaflet are available in a range of formats as part of our commitment to make health and safety information more accessible.

The 2009 poster and leaflet also reflect changes in the law to reduce the administrative cost to employers of having to provide additional written information on the poster or with the leaflet, and having to keep this information up to date.

What has changed on the health and safety law poster?

The 2009 poster and leaflet set out in simple terms, using numbered lists of basic points, what employers and workers must do, as well as showing what to do if there is a problem.

Their appearance was completely redesigned to make them more readable and colourful.

Please note that from 1 October 2011 HSE removed the telephone number to its Infoline service (Infoline closed on 30 September 2011) and the Incident Contact Centre will only be available for reporting major injuries and fatalities. Reporting of other statutory notifications will continue to be available through online forms.

A new poster does not have to be purchased or printed as a result of these changes.

How can I obtain a copy of the new health and safety law poster, leaflets, or pocket card?

These products can be purchased from HSE Books.

How much do the new health and safety law products cost?

For a list of prices for the health and safety law poster and associated products please see the full range of law poster products.

Is the health and safety law poster available in different formats and languages?

The full range of law poster products, with the exception of the standard and semi-rigid posters, are available to freely download from HSE's website or can be purchased from HSE Books:

An audio version of the content of the leaflet is available from the talking leaflets page under the heading 'general information':

Is my new health and safety law poster genuine?

Each copy of the 2009 poster incorporates a unique, serially numbered hologram in the bottom right corner. The security hologram is to help prevent mis-selling.

Copies of the 2009 poster purchased direct from HSE Books will be genuine. If an employer is in doubt about a poster purchased through another source, they should contact HSE at busmansec@hse.gsi.gov.uk.

Additional information on the new health and safety law poster?

Unlike the 1999 poster and leaflet, the 2009 poster and leaflet do not require the employer to provide further information in writing, either on the poster or with the leaflet, giving workers the name and address of the enforcing authority and Employment Medical Advisory Service (EMAS). Instead, workers are advised to go to HSE's website to find relevant addresses.

The 2009 poster does still have optional boxes where details of any worker health and safety representatives and other health and safety contacts can be added. It is not a legal requirement to include this information but it may be helpful to workers.

Does the old (1999) health and safety law poster need to be replaced?

To help avoid an unnecessary burden on businesses, the HSE Board set a five-year transition period for replacing the 1999 poster and leaflet.

The 1999 poster or leaflet must be replaced with the 2009 poster or leaflet no later than 5 April 2014.

Note that employers will still be complying with the law if they continue to display the 1999 poster after 6 April 2009. However, where employers do keep the old poster, there will be a continuing duty, in the period up to April 2014, to keep the additional written information up to date.

The additional information that employers have to provide in writing, either by inserting this in the appropriate boxes on the 1999 poster or by giving it to workers with the 1999 leaflet, is:

  • the name and address of the enforcing authority; and
  • the address of the office of HSE's Employment Medical Advisory Service (EMAS) for the premises concerned.

These addresses can be obtained by accessing:

2013-11-13