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Do I need a Health and Safety Plan?

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Health and safety hard hats

Even if you are self-employed, it is important to think about the work you undertake, the hazards associated with it and the measures that you put in place to prevent accidents and injuries. So when should you start thinking about a health and safety plan? Where you have more than five employees you need to document your health and safety arrangements in writing.

Health and Safety Policy

Your arrangements for managing health and safety are documented in a Health and Safety Policy. The Health and Safety policy will include: –

⦁ Policy Statement – the statement on health and safety at work sets out your commitment to managing health and safety effectively, and what you want to achieve.

⦁ Health and Safety Responsibilities – the responsibility section sets out who is responsible for specific actions to support the policy.

⦁ Health and Safety Arrangements – the arrangements section should say how you will meet the commitments you have made in your statement of health and safety policy. This section will include information on how you are going to eliminate or reduce the hazards in your workplace.

Hazards are the things associated with your work that could cause harm. Hazards can be: –

⦁ environmental, e.g., excessive noise, dust/fumes etc.
⦁ mechanical, relating to machinery or equipment that you use.
⦁ physical relating to the way the work is carried out, e.g., manual handling, repetitive movements etc.
⦁ chemical and biological e.g., using hazardous substances or being exposed to biological agents.

See our guide to common hazards below.

Risk is the combination of the likelihood that there could be an accident or injury and the impact of that accident/incident in relation to severity of injury. We normally use a risk matrix to calculate the level of risk. A simple matrix would look something like this: –

Risk assessment is about identifying unacceptable risk and implementing control measures to ensure that the risk is LOW.
If the risk is MEDIUM-HIGH, we need to do more to prevent accidents and injury. Failing to do so is a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

Communication and Consultation


Once you have prepared your health and safety policy and risk assessments, you need to communicate these with your employees to ensure that they understand the safe ways of working. It is always a good idea to involve them in the process and get them to provide feedback to inform what you do.
Download our basic health and safety policy

Common Hazards by Work Type/Sector

This table is not exhaustive but will help you to identify common hazards in your industry or sector: –

Further Support  

If you would like help to develop a health and safety plan for your business, we will be more than happy to help.  Please contact enquiries@fdpeople.co.uk or call 0141 221 2984 or send us a message through our online form.

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