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

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

  • Why you need a health and safety policy
  • What is a health and safety policy?
  • The value of a policy
  • Demonstrate your commitment
  • Ensuring procedures meet the organisation’s overriding goals
  • Recruitment and retention of staff members
  • Financial benefits

Why you need a health and safety policy

For many organisations, it would be prudent to have a policy document that both sets out the overall commitment to health and safety and details the organisation’s objectives and goals. Having a clear and well-thought out health and safety policy can have many benefits.

Some of the specific areas in which a Health and safety policy could help an organisation are outlined in this Practice Note.

For information on the regulatory requirements relating to a health and safety policy, see Practice Note: Health and safety policy—regulatory requirements and for guidance on formulating a policy, see Practice Note: Formulating a health and safety policy and Precedent Policy—health and safety.

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.

A policy can be described as a statement of the organisation’s intent or its ideas and a manner in which it sets out its proposals for action. It should ordinarily be differentiated from a plan that would be used to develop and document the actual steps and procedures the organisation puts in place to meet the overriding objectives. In short, the policy outlines the overall goal or goals of an organisation whereas the plan sets processes by which those

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