What is a Health and Safety Law poster, and do I need one?

The question "does my UK based business need a Health and Safety Law poster" is a common one and the answer is always the same. Irrespective of the size of your business, the sector you work in or the location of your premises, a Health and Safety Law poster is mandatory for one and all in order to comply with the Health and Safety regulations as set out by the Health & Safety Executive.

What does it do?

All employees have a right to work in an environment where the risks to their health and safety have been properly evaluated and controlled. The Health and Safety Law poster quite simply sets out in straightforward terms what employers and workers must do if there is a problem at work, be it a potential hazard, or an injury or illness created by workplace conditions.

It breaks the procedures down into bite-sized sections, with the first section explaining what the employer must do in terms of assessing risk and taking the necessary precautions, and the second explaining that employees also have a legal responsibility to act in a safe fashion and ensure they aren’t posing risks to others. Finally, it sets out what steps to take if there is a problem and provides contact details for the HSE alongside incident contact centre helpline numbers.

Does the poster need to be put in a specific place?

Given that every business is different, there isn’t a specified location the poster needs to be positioned. As long as it is displayed in a prominent place where workers can easily locate and read it, it will comply with health and safety regulations. We provide the poster in a high quality semi rigid PVC coated material which gives it both strength and durability and ensures it can withstand different conditions such as excess heat or water. It’s also dirt resistant, highly visible and easy to clean – so there is never any reason for a worker to lose sight of the content within it.

What if I have non-English speaking employees?

The poster is available in a number of alternative languages but if the language you’re looking for isn’t there, it’s vital employers make sure their employees understand the information, perhaps via a colleague acting as a translator.

What if I have a dated version of the poster, do I need a new one?

It depends on when you purchased the poster. A new poster came out in 2009 which replaced the version created in April 1999. All employers were required to replace their old poster with the new version no later than April 5th 2014. Each copy of the 2009 poster has a unique serial code hologram to confirm its authenticity. It’s no longer possible to buy the 1999 poster but it is essential that you have the 2009 version on your wall.

If there genuinely is nowhere to put a poster, then employers must provide each worker with a copy of the equivalent leaflet, which can be downloaded from the HSE website.

Buy the Health and Safety Law poster