Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
February 3, 2014

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

How to create a personal safety policy


SHP Lone Worker Series, sponsored by People Safe.


What is a personal safety policy?

A personal safety policy is a written statement of intent that outlines what actions an organisation will undertake to fulfil its legal obligations towards managing personal safety risks to its staff. It provides a framework from which procedures and guidelines can be developed.

A policy is something that management and staff must follow.

Step by Step Method of Developing a Personal Safety Policy

  1. Decide the title and objective of the policy. Add a date, version number, a contact name and an outline of the relevant legislation.
  2. State your organisation’s definition of ‘violence at work’.
  3. Introduction — This should state the organisation’s philosophy, aims and beliefs which form the basis from which the policy has been created. For example:  We believe that our employees have the right to work free of the fear of violence or aggression. We aim to reduce and wherever possible eliminate violence, harassment or verbal abuse in the workplace and to take appropriate action to deal with any incidents that may occur
  4. Clearly state who and what is covered by the policy. An organisation has a duty of care, not only to full-time staff, but also to agency staff, contract workers and volunteers. These roles should be specified where appropriate. Any travel which is a legitimate part of the employees working role should be covered, eg. travelling to meetings etc.. An organisation’s policy would not normally include travel to and from work but it might do so in certain instances eg. if employees work late or early morning hours or their workplace was in an isolated or high risk area.
  5. Management Responsibilities — Define the roles and responsibilities of the employer and line managers. Include any procedures expected to be implemented by managers and specify their role in enforcing and supporting these procedures. Also, clarify whose job it is to ensure risk assessments are updated and adequate and inform managers where they can go for help if they are unable to manage the risks at their level.
  6. Employee Responsibilities – Make it clear that employees must take responsibility for themselves and others by following procedures and reporting hazards. The consequences of not doing so should be clearly outlined.
  7. Performance Measures — Specify how you will measure the policy’s effectiveness.
  8. Monitoring and evaluating — It needs to be clearly stated how, when and by whom the policy will be monitored and reviewed.
  9. Reporting — the policy must specify:
  • What employees are required to report
  • Who has overall responsibility for the reporting system
  • How to obtain an incident report form
  • Where to go to get help to complete the form if necessary
  • Where to go for after care support and services
  • How employees will be inform about any follow up action taken.

Developing a personal safety policy takes time and commitment so be realistic about the effort it will take. Remember to involve staff in developing the policy and recognise that it should be a work in progress and will need to be regularly updated. Keep the policy as clear, simple and succinct as possible.

Remember, a policy is only the first step which tells staff and management ‘what’ they must do.  It will only work if it sits within a framework of procedures, which tell us ‘how’ to do what the policy says, and guidelines, which give us extra information and advice.

More information on how to develop policies, procedures and guidelines can be found in Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s ‘Personal Safety for Managers and Employers’. For details visit



The Safety Conversation Podcast: Listen now!

The Safety Conversation with SHP (previously the Safety and Health Podcast) aims to bring you the latest news, insights and legislation updates in the form of interviews, discussions and panel debates from leading figures within the profession.

Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, subscribe and join the conversation today!

Related Topics

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

I am a Counselor and looking to provide home visit in offering counselling to clients I would like to know the policy requirements has I am self employed I don’t have staff

Kind regards
Counselor nag