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Writing a health and safety policy

Your business must have a health and safety policy, and if you have fewer than five employees, you don’t have to write anything down.

Most businesses set out their policy in three sections:

To help you structure your policy, we've provided an example and Microsoft Word or Open Document Format 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 – however large or small – that a hazard could cause harm.

Additional arrangements

The additional actions you take to manage health and safety should be set out in the arrangements section of your policy. They could include:

Focus your attention on the activities that could present a risk to people or cause serious harm.

Updated 2014-08-11