Safety Signs Blog

Why has the Health and Safety Law Poster been updated

8th July 2011 | Health and Safety Signs

Posted by Darren Joint

On the back of the Health and Safety Information for Employees Act, the original Health and Safety Law poster was launched back in 1989. Twenty two years ago this was an extremely text-heavy, large poster that every workplace employing anyone should display prominently. Since its launch, this poster has been through a couple of upgrades but remained a core requirement for every UK business.

On the 6th April 2009 the HSE launched its most recent incarnation of the Health and Safety law poster. Unlike previous editions this was full colour poster and included pictures and concise bullet points. The development of this more user-friendly and eye-catching poster was based on the feedback that employees found previous versions unappealing and dull. Of course its Health and Safety related, as such this poster can never be as interesting as some posters and calendars displayed around the workplace! However, the HSE realised there is little point in having a poster displayed that is rarely read or referred to.

Health and Safety Law Poster

The Health and Safety Law Poster Legals

The HSE requires employers by law to display its approved HSE poster. Under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Act employers should ensure this poster is displayed in a prominent position. Alternatively, if they prefer, they can hand out an information leaflet on this piece of legislation to every employee that enters their building.

If there are multiple workplaces within the same building, one poster or leaflet scheme should be set up per workplace (business).

In terms of displaying the poster prominently, the HSE does not specify an exact location. However, most businesses tend to position this towards the front entrance, at a point where every member of staff will see it. Alternatively, some businesses position it in communal kitchen areas or near drinks machines – again adopting the philosophy that it should be positioned in areas where most employees will see it at some point in their working week.

What does this HSE poster address?

The poster provides employees with information on health, safety and welfare, and employee rights and responsibilities. It also details where and how employees can get further help and advice.

What are the benefits of the new HSE law poster?

Compared to previous versions of the Health and Safety poster, this latest poster is modern, eye catching and easy to read. Designed with clearly marked sections this poster should have an authentic HSE embedded hologram.

The poster also details employee helpline numbers and is manufactured from an environment friendly biodegradable material.

What do I do if I currently display a previous version of the Health and Safety Law Poster?

The good news is that businesses and other organisations have a period of grace in which to upgrade their Health and Safety law poster. The HSE has stipulated businesses have until the April 2014 to upgrade this poster. However, for all the good reasons above relating to readability, there is a strong argument for businesses upgrading their law poster sooner rather than later.

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