Builders & Tradesmen – What is a Safety Statement and Do I need to have one?

What is a Safety Statement?

 For more information on Contractors Insurance with S.A. Faughnan Click here


A  Safety Statement is a plan, in writing, which specifically identifies the hazards, assess the risks, identifies the controls to be put in place, the persons responsible and resources necessary to secure the safety of persons at work. It is required by Section 20 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. An employer should produce a written programme to safeguard:

  • the safety and health of  employees while they work
  • the safety and health of  other people who might be at the workplace, including customers, visitors and members of the public


The Safety Statement represents a commitment to safety and health. It should state how the employer will ensure employees, visitors, members of public & third parties safety and health and state the resources necessary to maintain and review safety and health laws and standards. The Safety Statement should influence all work activities, including

  • the selection of competent people, equipment and materials
  • the way work is done
  • how goods and services are designed and provided


It is essential to write down the Safety Statement and put in place the arrangements needed to implement and monitor it. The Safety Statement must be made available to staff, and anyone else, showing that hazards have been identified and the risks assessed and eliminated or controlled.


These are some essential steps to ensure that an employer has fulfilled his/her obligations to employees when it comes to safety in the work place:

  • Assess the risks
  • Identify the Hazards
  • Choose control measures
  • Write your safety statement
  • Record and review your safety statement on a regular basis.




Why it is important to have a Safety Statement?

The main aim is to make sure that no one gets hurt or becomes ill. Therefore, carrying out Risk Assessments, preparing and implementing a Safety Statement and keeping both up to date will not in themselves prevent accidents and ill health but they will play a large part in reducing such accidents etc.

It is important to prepare a Safety Statement for:


  1. Financial reasons
    Accidents and ill-health incur significant costs at work places and for employers.


  1. Legal reasons
    Preparing a Safety Statement and putting into practice what you have written down are not only important  to any safety and health management system, they are required by law. Health and Safety Authority inspectors visiting workplaces will want to know how employers are managing safety and health. If they investigate an accident, they will examine thoroughly the Safety Statement, and the procedures and work practices in use. If the inspector finds that one of these is inadequate, he or she can ask the employer to revise it. Employers can be prosecuted if they do not have a Safety Statement.


  1. Moral and ethical reasons
    The process of preparing a Safety Statement and implementing what you have written down will help employees prevent injuries and ill-health at work.  Employers are ethically bound to do all they can to ensure that their employees do not suffer illness, a serious accident or death.


Remember – A Safety Statement is required by Section 20 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to safeguard employees at place of work and other users of a work place area.


Failure to comply with the requirements of this safety statement provision is a criminal offence and can lead to severe penalties being imposed. Check out from the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) for advice on preparing one.


For more information on Contractors Insurance With S.A. Faughnan Click here