Guidelines for Establishing a General Health & Safety Policy



A safety policy is an overall plan for a workplace's health and safety. The N.B. Occupational Health and Safety Act requires all employers of five or more people to establish a safety policy, and employers of 20 or more to file their policy with WorkSafeNB. This usually is a one-page policy.


The purpose of the requirement is:

  1. To assure employees that commitment to health and safety standards is to be seriously regarded throughout the organization.
  2. To help employers carry out their duties under the OHS Act by requiring a review of the existing organization and arrangements for health and safety.


The safety policy must:

  1. Identify the particular workplace covered by the safety policy.
  2. State the employer’s health and safety objectives for that workplace.
  3. Outline the pace for reaching the stated objectives.

The requirement in the OHS Act can be met by general statements in each of the categories listed above, but employers are encouraged to provide a more detailed plan to maximize the benefits to be obtained from establishing the policy. In particular, in outlining their health and safety plan, employers are urged to:

  1. Specify the health and safety responsibilities of levels of management and employees.
  2. Consolidate all health and safety arrangements and inform employees of their existence by referring to supplementary documents such as safety rules, operational instructions and codes of practice that prescribe how work is to be done in that workplace.


WorkSafeNB Occupational Health Section: 07/99