Do I need a Health and Safety Policy?
If you have fewer than 5 employees you are not legally required to have a written policy for health and safety, although it will help if there is a dispute regarding safe working practices. You are required to conduct initial and periodic risk assessments and to record any significant findings and what you’ve done to reduce or negate the risk.
Do I need to have a first aider?
If you have fewer than 5 employees you need to appoint someone to be responsible for first aid provision, but they don’t have to be trained in first aid. With 5-25 employees you’ll need at least one person trained to provide Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) due to the likely nature of the more serious injuries that could be suffered.
What’s all the other stuff listed at the bottom of the page?
As well as dealing with problems as they occur you will have a responsibility to record them and, in certain circumstances, to report them. Having a written procedure for employees to follow in your absence will help to ensure that you don’t unwittingly fall foul of the law.
You’ll also want to make it clear to your employees how any dangerous substances are to be handled; who is permitted access to areas that are ‘staff only’; the rules regarding drugs, alcoholic drinks and firearms and other offensive weapons.
You will need to have a clearly defined evacuation plan in place in the event of a fire or suspicious package on the premises.
You will also have general security matters to consider, such as protection of your premises, supplies and cash from criminal damage or theft. This has a health and safety impact in the event that an incident occurs while you have members of staff on the premises.
As a restaurateur your vision and passion is centred on providing your clientele with the best possible dining experience.
As a business owner operating in a sector where there is a higher risk of injury and illness than many others, you completely understand how essential it is to have clear policies and procedures that your staff members are trained to comply with.
Unfortunately these documents are the most boring part of running a business and can become overlooked as time is taken up dealing with snags and suppliers, hiring staff and showing them how you expect them to operate.
Some food businesses quickly grow to a point that documenting for foreseeable events can seem like a leviathan effort. It becomes the ugly thing in the corner that everyone ignores.
You could suddenly have a wakeup call when Local Authority inspectors (or District Council inspectors in Northern Ireland) arrive unannounced to carry out an inspection.
Inspectors will be concerned only with how food is stored, handled, prepared and described, but the procedures you follow should be part of a wider-ranging document that deals with safe working practices.
If you have more than five employees your legal obligations include having a health and safety policy which demonstrates that you understand the risks in your business and also documents the steps you have identified as necessary to minimise their potential impact.
Although it isn’t a legal requirement for people working in a business that sells food to have a food hygiene certificate, everyone handling food for sale must be trained and adequately supervised until their knowledge and skills are judged sufficient to ensure safety.
Remember that your business is responsible not only for the safety of your employees, but of your customers and any visiting suppliers.
A restaurant can be hectic at times with many distractions for whoever is leading the team. Induction training is often mostly restricted to the aspects that enable someone to be productive, with very little time given to administrative matters.
Having a document that clearly provides information and instructions for a variety of foreseeable events will save on management time in the long term, enabling your business to be run more effectively and efficiently.
This health and safety policy includes details of:
The induction procedure for new employees
Staff duties and responsibilities
RIDDOR, First Aid and incident reporting
Access to the premises
Drugs, Alcohol and Offensive Weapons
General security (of premises, supplies, personnel and cash)
Dermatitis and skin care
Slips and trips
Fire and evacuation procedures
Safe use of knives
If you take a moment to think about how your employees operate and the jobs that they’re required to do when not directly supervised, you’ll see that having documented policies and procedures in place is a really good idea.
Bonus Forms and Checklists
To help you introduce and implement your policy we also provide some bonus checklists and forms including:
- First aider agreement
- Risk assessment checklist recommended by the Health & Safety Executive
- Documents and training information as recommended by the Foods Standards Agency
- You even get free updates if the law changes within 12 months from your order date.
Are they right for me and my business?
If you are running a restaurant business with less than 20 employees then this policy is for you. Our expert lawyers know how to protect your business and ensure that you comply with your legal obligations.
How do I get the policy?
The policy comes to you via email with a download link and each time there is a legal change in the 12 months post-order we upload the new document and let you know via email there is an update available for you.
What happens on order is we ask you for details about your business so that we can allocate a license. Once we have those, the link to download is sent to you. All this happens within one working day of us receiving the information from you.
Anything else I need to know?
Please note the price does not include any post-purchase support but the policy comes with full instructions and advice about how to use it.