Safety Procedures and Practices

Safety policies

A health and safety policy sets out a business’s general approach and objectives (vision) and the arrangements that have been put into place for managing health and safety in a business. It is a unique document that says who does what, when and how.

If a business has five or more employees, the policy must be written down.

A written policy statement shows staff, and anyone else, the organisations commitment to health and safety. It should describe how the business will implement and monitor health and safety controls. It should be reviewed regularly.

A policy is different from a risk assessment. A policy shows the general vision and arrangements for the whole business and is broader than a risk assessment. A risk assessment is a systematic review of how to eliminate and control each significant hazard, and whether a business is doing enough.

A policy will only be effective if acted upon and followed by everyone working in a business.

Approved codes of practice

The majority of modern health and safety law is not prescriptive but is goal setting – setting out what must be achieved, but NOT how it must be done. Advice on how to achieve the goals is set out in Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP).

ACOP offer practical examples of good practice. They give advice on how to comply with the law by, for example, providing a guide to what is ‘reasonably practicable’. If a set of regulations use words like ‘suitable and sufficient’, an Approved Code of Practice can give examples of what this requires in particular circumstances.

ACOP have a special legal status. If employers are prosecuted for a breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that they have not followed the relevant provisions of the Approved Code of Practice, a court can find them at fault unless they can show that they have complied with the law in some other way.

So in simple terms Regulations are law, approved by Parliament. Approved Codes of Practice are ‘worked examples’ of how to comply with Regulations easily and therefore fulfil the legal obligations of health and safety in the workplace.


1st Question

Explain what you mean by a Health and safety policy

2nd Question

Explain what you understand by a health and safety code of practice

3rd Question

Which of the following statements are correct (it could be more than one):

Last question

Which of the following statements are correct (it could be more than one):

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