Shoot Health and Safety

Why does my shoot need a Health and Safety Policy?

If your shoot has five or more employees at any one time it is a legal requirement to have a written health and safety policy.  You may be liable to criminal prosecution, leading to a significant fine and/or imprisonment if you do not have one.

Even if the shoot does not have employees it still makes sense to document your Health and Safety policy:

  • For the avoidance of criminal prosecution and civil proceedings – if anyone is injured on your shoot, then the Health and Safety Division of the local Environmental Health Department may investigate the incident.  If you can prove you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid accidents you are far less likely to be taken to court.
  • To secure shooting opportunity – if not now, at some time in the future you could find your lease requiring you to have documented risk assessments.
  • To make you think about all the risks, not just gun-related risks, entailed in running any form of shoot.
  • To maintain the good name of the sport – not just among politicians and government agencies, but also within the non-shooting public. Shooting’s safety record is good, we must all do our bit to keep it that way.

Greater safety consciousness will reduce accidents and no one wants their day spoilt by an avoidable accident.


Assistance with Field Sports Health & Safety, Risk Assessment. Visits & Discussion with Your Team, please contact; Peter Marshall Tel: 01244 573063 email

The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008

Date in force: January 16 2009

What it will do

The Act amends s.33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, to raise the maximum penalty the lower courts can dish out from £5,000 to £20,000. It will also allow some offences, previously limited to the lower courts, to be tried in higher ones, which have the power to pass stiffer – often unlimited – penalties. Therefore, it will make a custodial sentence an option for a wider range of health and safety offences. The Act doesn’t impose any additional legal duties.

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