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Do you have good record-keeping systems for Health and Safety?

A key part of ensuring safety for staff, customers and on-site visitors is the keeping of good records. Here is our guide to ensuring that you have good systems and procedures in place.

Keeping good health and safety records is important for the following reasons.

Firstly it is a legal requirement to keep some health and safety records available for bodies including the Health and Safety Executive.

Having records also allows the company to demonstrate compliance with health and safety laws and regulations.

Importantly though, good records which are well organised and regularly updated mean that it is easier to monitor potential risks, identify the need for urgent actions to reduce risks and monitor and evaluate health and safety performance.

What records should be kept?

It is also good to develop an intuitive and clear filing system that allows you to keep good records. These should include the following areas:

  • Risk Assessments

  • Fire & evacuation drills. Any other emergency procedures and protocols and details of when these were last reviewed

  • PPE stock, inspections and repaired

  • Site and premises inspections

  • Inspections and testing of Portable Electrical Appliances and other site equipment

  • Staff health and safety training, including induction and refresher courses.

  • Fire Safety systems and equipment checks

  • Health and safety policies and named individuals who implement these

  • Accident / Incident records and reports

  • Annual health and safety audits and reports

  • Records relating to waste disposal

  • In some cases, health surveillance to monitor workers' health standards may be required.

Risk assessments

Risk assessments should be carried out regularly and records of these should be kept for as long as the particular process or activities they cover carry on, and, as civil lawsuits can be filed up to three years after an incident, ideally keep those records for another three years after that, to which the assessments refer, is performed. Examination of past assessments allows changes and improvements to be identified.

Some records relating to health or environmental risks must be kept for longer periods.

Fire and other emergency drills

Having a record of what the procedures are, when they were reviewed or practiced, how they are communicated, and importantly, how they can be accessed quickly by emergency services is a key requirement.


Keeping records of legally required and voluntary or in-house inspections should be kept alongside details of recommended actions and details of when these were implemented.

You can find some record books for inspections here:

PPE checks and repairs

Ensuring you have records of what PPE you have and when it was last inspected and repaired, also in some cases how regularly PPE is laundered is also valuable in terms of ensuring staff safety as well as protecting the company from legal actions


Records of staff who have received induction training is helpful and it is also helpful to have a note of when refresher training is required, and when additional training might be needed if a role changes or new equipment or techniques are introduced.

Health and Safety Policies

These should be reviewed regularly and should include key named individuals responsible for implementing them.

Accident records and reports

It may be necessary to keep an accident record book on-site so incidents can be entered quickly and accurately and another copy of these on file along with details of any reports and follow-up actions taken as a result of an accident.

Annual health and safety audits

As well as carrying out risk assessments and reviewing policies and procedures, it is often valuable to have a general audit of overall health and safety practice in your business and to make a note of improvements and actions taken so that you can ensure compliance and demonstrate good practice in working to prevent health and safety issues in the workplace.

Waste disposal

Even if you do not dispose of hazardous waste, for each load of non-hazardous waste you move off your premises, you need a waste transfer note or a document with the same information, such as an invoice.

Health Surveillance

Health and safety law requires health surveillance when your workers remain exposed to health risks even after you have put controls in place.

This is because control measures may not always be reliable, despite appropriate checking, training and maintenance. Health risks that require health surveillance include noise, vibration and substances hazardous to health.

​​Health surveillance is a scheme of repeated health checks which are used to identify ill health caused by work. They are not details medical records and you can find out more about what data is required and how to implement health surveillance at the Health and Safety Executive website.

As always our sales team are well informed and happy to offer advice on any areas you are unsure about. Contact us at or call us on 01726 74264


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