Health & Safety
Policy and handbook
A robust Health & Safety Policy is the cornerstone of effective risk management. It sets out your general approach and commitment to keeping people safe and outlines the arrangements you have put in place to ensure risk is kept to a minimum.
Whether you’ve got nothing in place or are in need of an expert review, our Health & Safety specialists can provide you with a policy and handbook tailored to your organisation, processes, activities and environment.
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How we help
A firm foundation for compliance
If you employ five or more people, it is a legal requirement to prepare a written policy describing your health and safety arrangements. You must also bring this to the attention of your employees so that they are aware of risks and can carry out their role safely.
Provided as part of our fixed-fee Health & Safety support, get a robust policy and accompanying employee handbook that reflects the best practice advocated by the regulator in its publication HSG65 (Managing for Health and Safety).
- Carefully crafted by a dedicated consultant and approved by a Primary Authority
- Made bespoke to your organisation based on conversations with your consultant
- Covers up to 50 different risk areas, depending on what’s relevant to your business
- Reviewed annually to ensure it captures any changes to legislation or how you operate
- Backed up by ongoing support from a dedicated expert to help keep you compliant
What to Include in a Health and Safety Policy
Health and Safety Handbook FAQ
10 Common Health and Safety Policy Mistakes
Tailored to you for maximum impact
In order for a Health & Safety Policy to be effective, it needs to address the specific risks present within your environment and the particular processes and procedures you have in place. While you may be able to find generic templates online, if this essential document isn’t tailored to your organisation, it’ll do little more than occupy space on a shelf.
That’s why, at WorkNest, we’ll visit you on site to get better understanding of your organisation and its activities, then develop a policy based on genuine insight. We’ll also produce several iterations of the policy until you’re completely satisfied that it covers all bases and provides a clear outline of how you will manage health and safety across your organisation.
Common policy and handbook queries and questions about our service, answered by our Health & Safety specialists.
Who will the Health & Safety Policy be written by?
Your WorkNest Health & Safety Policy will be written by an experienced Health & Safety Consultant with recognised qualifications and technical expertise. If you take up our core Health & Safety service, this person will become your dedicated consultant for all health and safety matters – meaning the advice you receive will be consistent and based on a genuine understanding of your business. Plus, for any questions or areas of your policy that require specific technical expertise, as well as support from your named consultant, you’ll be able to rely on a nationwide team of experts with vast and diverse specialisms and experience.
What sections will it include?
Your Health & Safety Policy will be based on the principle of plan, do, check, act. It will include a statement of commitment describing how the business is organised to fulfill its legal responsibilities (refined to reflect post holder titles), followed by an arrangements section covering all risk areas that are relevant to the business and how they will be managed (contractors, fire, first aid, machinery maintenance, lone working, etc.). For each, it will follow a format of “we recognise”, “we will” and “the approach we will take is…”. It will also cover the importance of risk assessment, monitoring and review.
What does the ‘arrangements’ section include?
This is the main section of your Health & Safety Policy. It will outline all the risk areas that are relevant to your business and, for each, set out the specific systems and procedures you have in place manage that risk. Taking noise as an example, it will state that you recognise the chronic effects that excessive or long-term noise exposure may have and your commitment to preventing this harm occurring. In addition, you recognise your obligation to perform a risk assessment and understand that you have a duty to reduce levels of exposure in line with the hierarchy of controls (i.e. eliminating unnecessary sources of noise or, if this isn’t possible, introducing engineering hazards such as hearing protection). It may also make reference to other documents, arrangements and procedures that support this basic plan, such as a noise risk assessment.
How will the Health & Safety Policy be sent to us?
Your Health & Safety Policy will be sent out in electronic format – so you can share it on your intranet – and will be accompanied by a Health & Safety Handbook for employees and declaration form to collate acknowledgement and agreement, thereby improving claims defensibility.
Can I store these documents online?
Your Health & Safety Policy, Handbook and any other important documents can be stored securely via our easy-to-use portal, myWorkNest, for easy access.
Does a Health & Safety Policy only need to cover employees?
No. Your Health & Safety Policy will also set out the arrangements you have put in place to protect the health and safety of other persons not in your employment, including contractors, members of the public, and anyone who may be affected by your work activities. We’ll make sure your policy gives proper consideration to these individuals as well as your employees.
What’s the difference between a Health & Safety Policy and Health & Safety Handbook?
Your Health & Safety Policy should set out your general approach and commitment to creating a healthy and safe working environment, together with the arrangements you have put in place for managing health and safety in your business. It is a cornerstone document that states who does what, when and how. A Health & Safety Handbook condenses the contents of your policy into a more easily accessible document for employees to help them understand their role in your creating a safe working environment. While a Health & Safety Policy is a legal requirement if you employ more than five people, there is no explicit legal requirement to have a Health & Safety Handbook. However you must inform, instruct and train your employees on health and safety matters and a Handbook, whether hardcopy or electronic version, is one way to effectively way to do this. You should also ensure that all employees acknowledge they have read and understand it.
Can we write our own Health & Safety Policy?
When it comes to health and safety, creating a written policy is the biggest task you will need to complete as an employer – and there can be no ‘one size fits all’ answer, so template policies that you can fill out yourself are likely to fall short. It’s well worth having this centrepiece document created by a competent professional, as this is the best way to guarantee it is compliant with health and safety legislation, covers everything it needs to and accurately reflects your approach.
Explore Health & Safety Managed Services
We do more than just policies and handbooks...
Accident and incident investigation
An accident in the workplace is every employer’s worst nightmare. We can help to guide your investigation, advise on corrective action and protect your interests in the event of regulatory enforcement.
Can you help us prepare an accident investigation report?
Yes. This can be tricky to get right, especially as once you reach conclusions and set out the actions you have taken, the document is disclosable to the other side in the event of a personal injury claim or prosecution. We’ll help you stick to the facts, keep opinion separate, and make sure the report is presented in a way that protects your best interests and, most importantly, identifies the things that need to be put right to prevent reoccurrence.
We have been written to by the regulator regarding a health and safety incident. Can you help?
Yes. In the event of a serious accident or emergency, we will support your investigation and advise you on your communications with the enforcing authority. We will be there to help mitigate damage, guide you and support you. If you have received a letter from the regulator, we can help you to formulate a response until legal advice is required, in which case (if you have chosen to take it) our Legal Expenses Insurance is activated.
Why choose us?
Experts in Health & Safety
We have the expertise to help you simplify complex health and safety legislation, find workable solutions to health and safety challenges, and protect your organisation from the rising cost of non-compliance.
- Approved by a Primary Authority
- Dedicated specialists with recognised qualifications
- Genuine hands-on experience of managing risk
- Cost certainty with our unlimited, fixed-fee model
- The confidence to act as one of your competent persons
Who you’ll be working with
Willem Van Den Raad
Principal Health & Safety Consultant
Executive Director, Privacy International
WorkNest supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Head of Service Delivery, Catalyst Choice
We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Group HR Director, Culina Group
We moved our legal support to WorkNest (formerly Law at Work) having previously used a time and line law firm. It was important, though, that an all-inclusive fee structure did not come at the expense of quality. Thankfully we’ve been delighted with the service we’ve received from WorkNest.”
What we recognised in WorkNest is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety,
Bluestone National Park Resort
Chief Executive, The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT)
As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. WorkNest is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Operations Director, Beaverfit
Pineapple have worked with the team at WorkNest (formerly Law at Work) since 2003, and we have built a trusted partnership together. We particularly like WorkNest’s concise and practical advice concerning employment law/HR issues and also appreciate their totally supportive approach in all areas of health and safety.”
Pineapple Dance Studios
I’ve taken WorkNest into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
People Director, The Works