Health and Safety policy in UK

Download this information as a PDF 2015

NOTICE: If you have fewer than five employees you need to be aware of the H&S regulations and assess the risks only for internal purposes. However companies with more than 5 employees have to write down their own health and safety policy.

As an employer, or a self-employed person, you are responsible for health and safety in your working place.

The approach to be taken should be proportional to the size of your business and the nature of your activity. For most small, low-risk business the steps you need to take are straightforward. The policy does not need to be complicated or time-consuming. To help you, please refer to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) template attached that you can print and complete. This template also includes a section for your risk assessment so that you can record everything in one sole document. A policy will only be effective & accurate if you and your staff follow it and review it regularly

1. Risk assessment

You must control the health and safety risks in your workplace and think about what might cause harm to people and take measures to prevent them. This is known as a risk assessment.

Keep it simple and focus on controls.
If your employees work mainly with a computer all day long you will have to make sure:

  • They have a comfortable and suitable seat taking into account neck & back problems
  • Computer Screens have to be at the right eye level of each individual.
  • The screen brightness must be adapted to the employee's eyes comfort

Please refer to example of the health and safety policy form.

2. Consult your employees

You have to consult all your employees and get their feedbacks about health and safety issues:

  • health and safety and the work they do
  • how risks are assessed and controlled
  • the best ways of providing information and training

In very small business, you might choose to consult your employees directly. Alternatively, you might consult with a health and safety representative, chosen by your employees or selected by a trade union. As an employer, you cannot decide who will be the representative.

3. Provide training and information

Everyone who works for you needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health. You must provide clear instructions and information, and adequate training to your employees.
Providing simple information or instructions is likely to be sufficient for a low-risk business.

Health and safety training should take place during working hours and it must not be paid for by employees.

4. Provide the right workplace facilities

You must provide the right workplace facilities for everyone in your workplace, including people with disabilities.

For your employees' well-being you need to provide:

  1. Welfare facilities
    • toilets and hand basins, with soap and towels or a hand-dryer
    • Drinking water
    • A place to store clothing (and somewhere to change if special clothing is worn for work)
    • Somewhere to rest and eat meals
  2. Health issues
    • Good ventilation - a supply of fresh, clean air drawn from outside or a ventilation system
    • A reasonable working temperature
    • Lighting suitable for the work being carried out
    • Enough room space and suitable workstations and seating
    • A clean workplace with appropriate waste containers
  3. Safety issues
    • Properly maintain your premises and work equipment
    • Keep floors and traffic routes free from obstruction
    • Have windows that can be opened and also cleaned safely
    • Make sure that any transparent doors or walls are protected or made of safety material

5. Make arrangements for first aid, accidents and ill health

  1. First aid
    You must have first-aid arrangements in your workplace. As a minimum, you must have:
    • A suitable stocked first-aid box
    • An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
    • Information for all employees giving details of first aid arrangements
  2. Accident and ill health
    Under health and safety law, you must report and keep record of certain injuries, incidents and cases of workrelated disease.

6. Think about it

  • Display the health and safety law poster or equivalent to your employees
  • Get insurance for your business
  • Keep your business up to date

For more information or specific requirements do not hesitate to visit "Health and Safety Executive" website:

Download this information as a PDF 2015