Work with harmful materials. Shadow DOF. Developed from RAW; retouched with special care and attention; Small amount of grain added for best final impression. 16 bit Adobe RGB color profile.

Regulations and legislation for hazardous substances

Hazardous substances are commonly used in the workplace but what are the regulations and legislation that you should be following to make sure that any risk to your workers are reduced or dealt with.

When it comes to hazardous substances there are 3 main pieces of legislation that you should be aware of. These are as follows:

  • Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR)
  • The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012


Work with harmful materials. Shadow DOF. Developed from RAW; retouched with special care and attention; Small amount of grain added for best final impression.

COSHH is the law that requires an employer to control substances that could be hazardous to health, and this includes nano-materials. Here are a list of bullet points you can work through to help with reducing risks involved with using hazardous substances:

  • finding out what the health hazards are
  • deciding how to prevent harm to health (risk assessment)
  • providing control measures to reduce harm to health
  • making sure they are used
  • keeping all control measures in good working order
  • providing information, instruction and training for employees and others
  • providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases
  • planning for emergencies.

Most businesses will use substances or materials made from several substances that could cause harm to employees, customers, or the public. Not all hazardous substances are marked and obvious so make sure to check any new products you might use, and risk assess the accordingly.

Further information can be found on HSE’s COSHH website.


Metallurgical plant, hot metal casting

DSEAR requires an employer to control the risks of fire and explosions.

Dangerous substances can put those who come into contact with that environment at great risk. This could be customers, employees, or the public. DSEAR puts the responsibility on the employer or those who are self-employed to make sure that all risks to those who could be harmed are suitably controlled.

Dangerous substances include anything used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people as a result of a fire or explosion or corrosion of metal. They can be found in nearly all workplaces and include such things as solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), dusts from machining and sanding operations, dusts from foodstuffs, pressurised gases, and substances corrosive to metal.

Employers must:

  • find out what dangerous substances are in their workplace and what the risks are
  • put control measures in place to either remove those risks or, where this is not possible, control them
  • put controls in place to reduce the effects of any incidents involving dangerous substances
  • prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies involving dangerous substances
  • make sure employees are properly informed about and trained to control or deal with the risks from the dangerous substances
  • identify and classify areas of the workplace where explosive atmospheres may occur and avoid ignition sources (from unprotected equipment, for example) in those areas

The Control of Asbestos Regulations:

Man clearing asbestos from old roof / Hazardous substances

The control of asbestos regulations came into place on April 6 2012, and were released to update the previous regulations to take into account the European Commission’s view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).

Asbestos is responsible for almost 4000 deaths per year in the UK. It was used in a range of building but was commonly used in commercial buildings that were constructed before the year 2000.

The legislation now states that the “duty holder”(who is responsible for the building, so may be the owner or the person in charge of maintenance) must conduct an assessment as to whether the building contains asbestos. If asbestos is present but in good condition and undisturbed it can be left but will need to be closely monitored to avoid it becoming an issue. If asbestos is found within the property and has been disturbed, then you will need to have it removed. Anyone carrying out the work should be properly trained in handling the material and should be aware of the risks involved.


COSHH, DSEAR and the control of asbestos are all important when it comes to keeping your workforce safe from hazardous substances and other laws such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 set out the responsibility for employers to protect their workers and the public from the effects of exposure to hazardous substances.

Risk assessment management process

How to write your risk assessment

A risk assessment is a useful tool to help employers meet their responsibility of making sure that their staff, the public and anyone else coming into contact with their site or workplace is safe and secure. Risk assessments allow employers to highlight the dangers that people may face and puts in place measures to reduce or in some cases completely remove the risks.

Risk assessments help employers to take control of risks. There is a lot of pressure and responsibility on employers to make sure all those who enter the environment they’re responsible for is safe and risk assessments are the foundation of spotting and reducing any risk.

It is also a legal requirement for any business that employs more than 5 people to hold a valid risks assessment. It is important that risk assessments are carried out and recorded thoroughly as they form the basis for health and safety policies and procedures.

What are risk assessment templates?

Risk assessment templates are an effective risk management tool. They normally come in the form of a document that breaks the full assessment down into different stages with space for you to record hazards and the people who are at risk.

Templates will also include a risk matrix – these are simply so you can record the level of risk and the likelihood of the risk happening. Once you have identified and evaluated the risks the template will direct you to record the existing control measures and any other measures that could be put in place to reduce the risks.

Do you need to use a template?

No, there is no requirement for an organisation to use a risk assessment template, they are simply there to help guide those who are unsure through the initial processes. You can create your own structure for carrying out and recording assessments, the templates are just there to make it easier for those who may be unsure.

Templates may help you save time and normally are structured in a way that makes it easy to record your findings and therefore easier for those in the business you’re sharing it with to understand.

What to watch out for when writing your risk assessment

If you’re using templates to write your risk assessment it is important not to copy the example answers and findings that may already be filled in.

The risk assessment needs to be your own, as every business will have slightly different risks and likelihoods. Copying a risk assessment will not only be no help for your business but it also won’t meet any of the legal requirements.

How should a risk assessment be structured?

Risk assessment management process

There is no one structure fits all when it comes to producing a risk assessment, which is often why you will find varying templates for different industries. Your risk assessment will vary depending on the work you carry out, the size of your business, the materials you use and the legislation you need to comply with.

Risk assessments for new workplaces or businesses may also differ from assessments carried out in areas that have been previously assessed.

However, you will need to follow the steps below:

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Consider who is at risk
  3. Evaluate risks and the actions to control them
  4. Record findings
  5. Regular review of risks assessments

How to find templates

If you’re not sure how to structure your risk assessments or where to find the correct template for your business SMAS Worksafe can offer you guidance and support.

Our templates allow you to complete your assessments to a high standard and record findings in a clear manner. SMAS Worksafe members can download our risk assessment form via our portal. Members will also have access to various other templates to help with your businesses environmental, quality, anti-bribery and financial standing policies.

You can also download and view risk assessment templates and examples on the HSE website.

SMAS Worksafe SSIP Accreditation

SSIP accreditation: Everything you need to know

SSIP or Safety Scheme in Procurement is a standard for health & safety that is recognised throughout the United Kingdom. It was created to ensure a reduction in health and safety assessment costs and bureaucracy in the supply chain, by making cross-recognition between member schemes as effective as possible.

SSIP is now accepted and recognised by thousands of clients across the UK, making the process for vetting contractors a simple process and there is no need to compare different standards of accreditation.

“Do I need SSIP?”

SSIP is something that any business across any industry can obtain but it is generally required for contractors in the construction industry.

The most common reason for businesses obtaining SSIP accreditation is that they work for a client requesting it as a requirement to enter and work on their site. Therefore, contractors who work with these clients are required to become accredited to work.

Although other industries might not require SSIP, businesses often take out accreditation as a good practice. It reassures business owners that their health & safety policies are of a high standard and any risks are being dealt with or reduced as much as possible. 

“How do I get SSIP accredited?”

If you’re required or want to become SSIP accredited, then you will need to find an SSIP Member Scheme that can give you a certificate once you have passed the question set.

There are 30 registered member schemes and SMAS Worksafe is one of these schemes. We help businesses obtain their SSIP certificates and help support them not just through the process but also with guidance on how they can improve their health & safety going forward.

Once all the questions have been answered and you’ve uploaded all the required information, one of our assessors will check over all the details and let you know if there are any issues with your submission. Once you have passed all the questions you will then hold an SSIP certificate which is valid for 12-months.

“What is the SSIP core criteria?”

To gain SSIP accreditation your business must be able to show that you meet the core criteria. All SSIP member schemes will require this information from you and below you can see a breakdown of what areas you will need to meet.

  1. Health & Safety policy and organisation for Health & Safety
  2. Arrangements
  3. Competent advice – corporate and construction-related
  4. Training and information
  5. Individual qualifications and experience
  6. Monitoring, audit and review
  7. Workforce involvement
  8. Accident reporting and enforcement action; follow up investigation
  9. Sub-contracting /consulting procedures (if applicable)
  10. Risk assessment leading to a safe system of work
  11. Co-operating with others and coordinating your work with that of other contractors
  12. Welfare provision

Additional Construction Sector Criteria: 

  1. Hazard elimination and risk control (Designers & Principal Designers only)
  2. Principal Designer duties (Principal Designers only)
  3. Supplementary Construction Industry Criteria (alignment with Common Assessment Standard)

“I already have an SSIP certificate, but I’m being asked for a SMAS?”

Although SSIP is recognised throughout the UK, some clients may have a preference on what scheme you hold your SSIP certificate with, for example, you might have an SSIP assessment with CHAS or Constructionline but a particular client is asking for one from SMAS Worksafe.

In this case, your best option is to take out a ‘deem to satisfy’ (DTS) with SMAS Worksafe – this is where instead of going through the full SMAS Worksafe assessment we will view your existing SSIP certificate and grant you a SMAS Worksafe accreditation without the need for a full assessment and for a reduced fee.

It’s also worth noting that if you are a contractor working for several clients asking for varied SSIP assessments, do some research into full and DTS pricing. For example, if you hold a full assessment with CHAS but require SMAS Worksafe for a client it might be cheaper to take a full assessment with SMAS Worksafe and then DTS with CHAS.

Benefits of having your SSIP accreditation with SMAS Worksafe

SMAS Worksafe are always trying to give their members the most from their SSIP assessments. We don’t want your yearly assessment to be the only time we touch bases with you and instead offer you year-round support and benefits.

SMAS Worksafe leads the way for customer service, all our expert assessors are based in-house and on the phones all day to help support you through your assessments should you need it. Lots of member schemes often outsource their assessors which can lead to the phone not being answered when you need it and inconsistent standards when going through your application.

We also lead the way in turnaround times, we can turn around your SSIP assessment in as little as 1 day. This allows you to get back on-site as soon as possible. Depending on your membership with SMAS Worksafe you may also have access to all these member benefits.

  • 10% off Tradepoint
  • 15% off all iHASCO courses
  • A Work Wallet subscription
  • Mid-year review
  • Year-round access to our expert in-house assessors

To learn more about SMAS Worksafe’s member options, please view our pricing and packaging page.

Hazardous signs - Red beach flag

Safety signs in the workplace

Safety signs will be present in every working environment to give anyone who enters the best information about the risks and to help keep the working environment as safe as possible. 

There are 4 distinct types of signs you should look out for and in this article we will go through them so you know what to look out for and what action’s you will need to take. 

Prohibitory signs are put in pace to stop behaviours that might increase or cause danger in the workplace, such as smoking.

  1. Circular shape
  2. Black pictogram with White background. Located inside red circle with diagonal strike through the centre. (Red part of the sign must take up at least 35% of total area).Prohibitory sign examples

Warning signs are used to highlight risks or dangers in the workplace, such as flammable material.  

  1. Triangular shape
  2. Black pictogram on a yellow background with black edging. (Yellow part of the sign must take up at least 50% of total area).

Warning signs / workplace signing

Mandatory signs are put in place to highlight acts that must be abided by, such as wearing eye protection.

  1. Circular shape
  2. White pictogram on blue background. (Blue part of the sign must take up at least 50% of total area).

Mandatory sign examples

Emergency escape or first aid signs are there to help you navigate a workplace to find safety via an exit or to locate a first aid box.

  1. Rectangular or square shape
  2. White pictogram on a green background (the green part of the sign must take up at least 50% of total area).

Emergency exit and first aid signs.

The Regulations implement European Council Directive 92/58/EEC on minimum requirements for the provision of safety signs at work state that employers are to provide safety signs where other methods, properly considered, cannot deal satisfactorily with certain risks and where the use of a sign can further reduce that risk. Safety signs are not to be used as a substitute for other methods of control and should be used on top of controlling methods.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations) states that employers must consider the results of the risk assessment that has been created – the assessment will need to identify the hazards and risks, then state the control measures that have been put in place. Safety signs can then be used to highlight risks further and give employers more information. If the risk is not significant there may be no need to provide a sign.

An example for when risks might be small but a sign is still necessary would be if there was the use of flammable chemicals, you can make sure that safety equipment is worn and flammable materials are reduced but the risks may still be present to workers and therefore the use of a sign helps to highlight the dangers.

Although these regulations do not require safety signs to be used where there is no significant risk to health and safety, certain fire safety signs may have to be displayed under separate legal provisions. If you have any doubts check this with your enforcing authority for fire safety.

An accident waiting to happen. An industrial worker using a cell phone in a warehouse.

Understanding behavioural safety hazards

Your businesses health and safety procedures are the driving force behind reducing risks within your business’s day to day tasks, but behavioural safety hazards are something that you should be aware of and reinforcing with your workforce.

Behavioural safety hazards can be caused by new rules or precautions that workers feel are unnecessary and therefore do not feel the need to carry out, or because a workforce or organisation become careless with their safety procedures and culture.

Causes of behavioural safety risks 

Woman on a ladder reaching for a box out of reach

Normally behavioural risks are caused by habits or the unwillingness to adapt to an updated system or procedure, for example, someone who has worked with certain machinery for 10 or more years without accident may not see the benefit of using the latest technology to protect themselves and are in a habit built up over those 10 years to carry out the task in a certain manner.

This doesn’t usually mean the worker is purposely being disobedient but more likely there is stubbornness or ignorance to change.

“I’ve never had issues doing it this way so why do I need to change?”

Something along the lines of the above statement is often true when you’re looking to change a policy or introduce new steps in your health and safety procedure. These habitual procedures are even more difficult to introduce when the task one is carrying out becomes either more difficult or longer to complete due to the changes. For example, someone who has previously not been required to wear gloves is now asked to wear protective gloves, but they impede his ability to complete the task due to the bigger size and lack of movement.

When implementing a change in equipment or procedures you should make sure you sell it to your workforce. Most of the updated equipment’s marketing will be around the benefits of it, how it works and what risks it will reduce and/or stop. This should be relayed to those who will be required to use it going forward so they can see why you’re making the changes.

An accident waiting to happen. An industrial worker using a cell phone in a warehouse.

Changing the behavioural habits

Managing behavioural risks are a challenge that all businesses face and changing existing procedures can be extremely difficult.

Often these behaviours become habits and they can be extremely difficult to change, but here are a few steps your business can take to reduce bad habits creeping into the workplace.

Take a no-tolerance stand

The easiest and arguably the most effective way to stop behavioural risks from entering your workplace is to make sure you have a no-tolerance stance on your health & safety procedures. This simply means that all of your workforce are aware that if they’re found to be breaking rules or taking shortcuts they will be removed from the environment. This not only will help you to weed out anyone who might be starting to set a more relaxed culture, but it also reinforces to other employees that the matter is serious.

Sell the change to your staff

As mentioned previously, make sure your staff are aware of the reasons behind the changes in procedure or equipment. Make sure they’re aware of why you’re implementing the changes and are aware of the risks that come with not following the rules. This can often be done by using examples of instances where accidents have happened or showing them some worst-case scenarios of what has happened within other businesses. Also highlighted that the changes are being made for not just the safety of them individually but also their colleagues.

Often people are more willing to change if they know that it’s more than just themselves being put at risk, the thought of causing injury to a colleague is often more powerful than injuring themselves.

Create a safety-first culture

Creating a culture within your workplace will take time but once the culture is in place you will find it’s much easier to manage changes in the long term. Often people will push the boundaries with what they can get away with and if they know the repercussions of their actions is nothing more than a stern word, then they’re far more likely to push those boundaries.

Taking a no tolerance stamp on health & safety will help to reduce people pushing those boundaries and if you can get employees to buy into the changes with your sales pitch then what you can create is a self-regulating workforce who will report or at least have words with those that are dropping their safety standards. Once this culture has been created your task becomes much easier, the safety standards are now being pushed from within teams and not from a head at the top of the business.

A step-by-step guide to improving behavioural safety:

Group training on behavioural safety

  • Review your current processes and/or equipment and decide on the areas you want to improve. Consider using previous accident, incident and near-miss reports to help you identify areas of improvement.
  • Once you’ve reviewed your procedures, select 1 or 2 key areas that can be improved. A complete overhaul of all procedures will be tougher for employees to follow and digest.
  • Begin developing your communication strategy. How are you going to present the changes to your employees? Can you use examples from your business?
  • Implement your changes with a few initiatives such as:
  1. Colleague observation studies
  2. Regular inspects from senior management
  3. Regular bite-sized training or refresher classes
  4. Reward those who excel with positive feedback and reinforcement
  5. Include behavioural risks within your risk assessments
  • Monitor the changes and make improvements and changes where necessary. Be open with your employees and ask for their feedback.
This pain is getting worser by the hour

Managing occupational risks

Occupational risks occur when someone’s job leads them to greater risks. For example, a Landscaper or gardener that spends lots of time outdoors will have a greater risk of issues caused by direct sunlight.

Like many occupational risks they are hard to avoid, a landscaper’s job requires them to work outside and therefore trying to reduce the risks through less exposure would ultimately impact their job and cost them money.

Types of hazards:

All jobs come with risks to employees, although some may seem more obvious and dangerous than others. Jobs that may be seen as having no risks,  such as working in an office still hold risks for an employee’s mental and physical health and should be considered when you’re setting up a workstation and working environment.

Common types of occupational risks:Businesswoman having back pain / occupational risks

  • Biological: Often causes by viruses, bacteria, insects or animals.
  • Chemical: Caused by the use or exposure to substances
  • Physical: Environmental factors that can cause damage to a worker; heights, noise, radiation etc.
  • Safety: The creation of unsafe working environment; exposed wires or moving vehicles
  • Ergonomic: Physical factors that can result in musculoskeletal injuries; poor workstation setup
  • Psychological: Hazards that can cause an employee to suffer from mental health issues; stress, sexual harassment, violence etc.


Managing hazards in the workplace:

Failing to protect your employee’s wellbeing could lead you to face financial and/or custodial penalties. Therefore, it is vital that you make sure you do your utmost to manage all workplace hazards.

Here are some of the steps you should take to help identify and reduce occupational risks:

Work Injury / Occupational risks

  • Carry out an appropriate risk assessment: if you are struggling with all the risks it may be worth asking employees and or other businesses like yours to help you.
  • Introduce the control measures: once you have identified the risks to your staff you will need to implement the measures to reduce the risks. This could be avoiding the use of ladders to stop falls or be to supply workers with PPE if they’re working with dust or fumes.
  • Train your employees: All employees should have at least level 1 health and safety training or office safety training. You will also need to have specific training if the workplace requires it. For example, how to deal with asbestos.


The Regulations:

While there isn’t a specific legal requirement, much of what is considered to be health regulations are covered in other employment laws. Most of the occupational health and safety regulations are covered in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. However, as there is such a variety of hazards it is important that businesses include their own risks assessment for hazards or risks that are unique to their industry.

For example, for those who are often exposed to chemicals that could lead to dermatitis, The HSE published a leaflet on preventing contact dermatitis and urticaria (another skin disease) at work, which includes reference to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.

For all cases, you should try and prevent the issues rather than cure it once it has happened. Occupational health regulations often highlight the importance of carrying out a thorough risk assessment and addressing any potential risks in advance to avoid workplace illness and injury.


SMAS Worksafe and SSIP:

Managing occupational risks can be hard, which is where an SSIP accreditation from SMAS Worksafe can help your business. A health and safety accreditation from SMAS Worksafe will help your business to identify all risks to your workforce and give you action plans on how you can make your business safer going forward.

To learn more about how SMAS Worksafe can help your business with an SSIP certificate, visit our SSIP accreditation page.

Tabbed manual titled "Workplace Safety"

Top 7 tips for reducing H&S risks in Construction

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries for people to work in due to the nature of the work, which can involve working from heights, using heavy machinery and lifting heavy loads.

Most of the danger’s workers will face can be dramatically reduced by setting up the right health and safety measures and putting procedures in place to keep workers safe. Below is a seven-step guide you can use to help you spot, reduce and even eliminate some of the risks.


The first step for any site should be to identify the applicable hazards and reduce the risks as far as is reasonably practicable. For instance, is there a way you can complete the task with a different method, or use different materials and/or chemicals to reduce or eliminate the risks?

A few ways you might reduce risk would be:

  • Using extendable tools rather than working at height.
  • Having materials delivered cut to size to remove any risks associated with cutting.
  • Using battery-operated equipment to eliminate trip hazards.


If the risks can’t be removed entirely which is very often the case in construction, the next best option is to try and make a substitution to reduce the risks to anyone involved.

These could be:

  • Replacing ladders with scaffolds.
  • Wearing high visibility jackets to enhance visibility.
  • Substituting hazardous chemicals with non-hazardous.
  • Having access to the latest equipment.

Engineering controls:

Another method you should look to use is using engineering to control the environment that you’re working in. These controls could be fixed for everyday tasks or temporary measures for less commonly executed tasks. The measures should generally look to protect the collective workforce rather than individuals.

These could be:

  • Adding edge protection whilst working at height.
  • Enclosing any equipment or sharp edges.
  • Having extractors, such as LEV’s to remove dust or chemical fumes.


Procedures are incredibly important to not just have in place but also make sure that all your staff are aware and know how to follow them to reduce the risks of an incident.

They should also be updated if any of the procedures change, for example, if you have a new piece of equipment that requires different use than the previous.

You may also put in permanent procedures to reduce risks such as enforcing a one-way system around your sites to minimise risks or to restrict working at height during windy conditions.


Another way to reduce risks to workers is to make sure that anyone who is carrying out hazardous work has supervision. The supervisor should have experience and training in the area they are supervising. This will allow them to spot and identify if anything is not being done correctly but also, if the worst is to happen and someone has an accident, someone is on hand to help them.


It might seem obvious but making sure that all individuals are trained for completing a relevant task is imperative. No one should be asked to complete a task they are not well versed or trained in and making sure that your staff have the most up to date training is extremely important.


Another one that might seem obvious but making sure that your workers have access to the right PPE for all the tasks they need to complete and new equipment should be made available if there are changes to regulations or better technologies are available. Individual measures such as PPE should always be explored once all other options are exhausted as they give the least prevention. We all have a responsibility to give our workforce the best protection possible, so implementing collective measures is always better than individual measures.

Worker using the SafetyCulture IAuditor App

SafetyCulture empowers SMAS Worksafe members 

SMAS Worksafe partner, SafetyCulture, is a global technology company that supports businesses to do their best work every day. Its adaptive, mobile-first products help to enhance operations and foster high performing, safer workplaces. 

SafetyCulture is used by over 28,000 organisations worldwide, in almost every industry. Its flagship products, iAuditor and EdApp, enable teams to perform checks, train staff, report issues, capture data and communicate fluidly. 

SafetyCulture powers over 600 million checks each year, approximately 50,000 lessons per day and millions of corrective actions. 

They do this by empowering frontline employees. Giving front-line staff the ability to perform checks straight from a site, providing sensors for data capture and integrating seamlessly with existing systems. SafetyCulture helps organisations build immunity to risk. 

Front-line workers make up 80% of our global workforces and are at the heart of implementing health and safety practices. Crucially they can capture data and information that would otherwise be missed. For example actionable points of risk, inspection failures and safety concerns. 

Despite their critical role, front-line workers have been under-served when it comes to technology. SafetyCulture is on a mission to challenge that. Operational excellence including health and safety is everyone’s responsibility: and by giving every employee the tools, training and ownership they need, we can drive change from the ground-up. 

Our collective vision and aspiration is for all SMAS Worksafe members to be empowered through mobile-first technology to drive safer, more productive and efficient workplaces.

As a proud SMAS Worksafe member since November 2020, SafetyCulture is committed to working with SMAS Worksafe and their members to raise health and safety standards. SMAS Worksafe members can benefit from a 10% discount on the premium versions of EdApp and iAuditor. Visit SafetyCulture’s dedicated SMAS Worksafe partner page to learn more and get started for free. You can also contact Olivia Langley, SafetyCulture’s Partnerships Manager, who is committed to supporting SMAS Worksafe members looking to use SafetyCulture products. Reach out to Olivia via

Health & Safety procedures document

Tips for writing your Health & Safety Policy

For all over 5 organisations in the UK, it is a legal requirement to have a written health and safety policy detailing how your organisation is going to manage health and safety within the company.

Health and safety policies are required to ensure those involved with the organisation are aware of how the company aim to mitigate any potential H&S issues that may arise, who to contact, and the in-depth procedures for dealing with such issues.

A successful policy will clearly outline these points and be easy to understand for all applicable personnel. Below are some easy points that will help your organisation to write a successful health and safety policy.

The three pillars of your H&S Policy:

Your statement of intent

One of the most important parts to a health and safety policy is the statement of intent. The statement should outline the aims of your company and its commitment to the management of health and safety.

A health and safety policy statement will set out how you intend to manage health and safety within your workplace. It will briefly outline your businesses attitude towards health and safety, and the steps, arrangements and management systems that you have in place to ensue you comply with the health and safety legislation.

The statement of intent should clearly state the full company name, be signed and dated by the senior person within the organisation (usually the Director or their delegate) and be regularly reviewed (at least annually).

The Responsibilities

The next area that your business must include is the responsibilities for managing certain aspects of H&S within the organisation. This should include the responsibilities of all levels of the organisation, including management, supervisors and employees.

The responsibilities must clearly define:

·      The responsibilities of managers to implement the H&S policy and its associated procedures.

·      The responsibilities of supervisors to implement the procedures set out by management.

·      The responsibilities of employees to follow the procedures as outlined by management and supervisors.

The Arrangements  

Your health and safety policy will need to include an arrangements section. This area will clearly outline the way in which the organisation meets the commitments made within the statement of intent. The arrangements section should include information on what you are going to do to eliminate or reduce (as far as reasonably practicable), any risks or hazards within your workplace or out on site.

This section should include arrangements such as**:

·      Training and Communication.

·      Risk Assessments.

·      Safe Systems of Work.

·      Monitoring, Audit and Review.

·      Sub-Contractor / Supplier Selection.

·      Accident Reporting and Recording (in line with RIDDOR 2013).

·      Asbestos.

·      Welfare Facilities (in line with CDM Regulations 2015 – Schedule 2 and / or Workplace (H, S&W) Regulations 1992).


**Please note: This list is not exhaustive. Other areas should be included where appropriate.


Although the main objective of your health and safety policy is to protect those who you’re employing, you should consider those who your work can affect (i.e. sub-contractors; customers; clients; the public etc.) and what we can do to protect them within each section of the policy.

Other Considerations:

Surround yourself with knowledge

Not all employers are health & safety experts, nor should they be expected to be. The organisation should ensure it has access to competent H&S advice should it be required. Therefore, it is important for the organisation to appoint a responsible person internal to the organisation for health and safety and if deemed necessary, seek advice from an external competent source (i.e. someone with the necessary skills, knowledge, qualifications, and experience to manage health and safety), such as a H&S Consultant, like those at our sister company, Citation

Communicating your H&S Policy

The policy must be readily available and brought to the attention of your employees. It is also recommended that all new employees read over the organisations health and safety policy during induction, and that it should be recirculated following any changes made.

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