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Managing health and safety

Effective workplace health and safety management minimises the risk of accidents and cuts costs. You need to understand how health and safety regulations affect your business.

Health and safety policy

Every business needs a health and safety policy. Unless you have fewer than five employees, your health and safety policy must be in writing. The health and safety policy sets out your general approach to health and safety. It also explains how you organise responsibility for managing health and safety in your business.

Your main health and safety policy should also link to any more detailed health and safety policies and procedures that your business may have in place: for example, procedures for using dangerous equipment safely, reporting serious injuries and so on.

Your workplace health and safety

Your approach to health and safety needs to suit your business, taking account of any particular risks. Regular health and safety risk assessments are essential to identify the main risks in your business. You also need to be aware of the health and safety regulations affecting your business activities.

Key health and safety issues include fire safety, dangerous and electrical equipment, and hazardous substances. You also need to ensure that your premises are healthy and safe, and provide the right environment and facilities for employee welfare.

Health and safety – your employees

You must involve employees in health and safety, consulting on issues that affect them and providing the health and safety information they need. As well as creating health and safety procedures, you need to provide training and make sure that employees follow the procedures.

As an employer, you are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance providing cover against any employee’s injury or illness for which you are responsible.

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