What are employers' duties with regard to having a general health and safety policy statement?

Under s.2(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, employers with five or more employees are obliged to prepare a written statement of their general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of their employees, and the arrangements in place for carrying out the policy. This written policy statement must be brought to the attention of employees.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance: Managing for health and safety, says that the health and safety policy should reflect the organisation's "values and beliefs" and "commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment". Employers need to consider what they "are going to do to manage health and safety, then decide who is going to do what and how". This is their health and safety policy. The HSE has adopted a "Plan, Do, Check, Act" approach to how health and safety should be managed.