Formulating a health and safety policy
Produced in partnership with Melanie O'Brien of DG Legal
Formulating a health and safety policy

The following Practice Management guidance note Produced in partnership with Melanie O'Brien of DG Legal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Formulating a health and safety policy
  • What is a health and safety policy?
  • Key staff members
  • Stakeholders
  • Values and goals
  • What should be included?
  • Next steps

This Practice Note provides information for organisations on drafting and implementing a health and safety policy. It reviews key issues to consider and refers to tools that could be of assistance.

For information about regulatory requirements relevant to the implementing of a health and safety policy, see Practice Note: Health and safety policy—regulatory requirements. For more on the purpose and value of a health and safety policy, see Practice Note: Why you need a health and safety policy.

What is a health and safety policy?

A health and safety policy is a document that sets out the organisation’s principles and objectives for ensuring the health and safety of staff and visitors. It should ordinarily be differentiated from a health and safety plan, which is used to develop and document the actual steps and procedures the organisation puts in place to meet its objectives. In short, the policy outlines the overall goals of an organisation whereas the plan sets objective, workable processes by which those goals will be achieved on a day-to-day level.

Both the policy and the plan can be combined into a single document but there are many benefits to keeping them as separate and distinct documents. An organisation’s overriding objectives are often formulated at a senior level to demonstrate commitment to health and safety principles. This acts as a

Related documents: