Using A Health & Safety Consultant
Health and safety consultants can be used in a variety of ways for example writing a safety policy and conducting risk assessment or annual reviews and audits. The size of your organisation in terms of its number of employees and element of risk can contribute toward the decision to use an external health safety consultant.
Am I Held Responsible If I Use An External Consultant?
There is often confusion surrounding this question as common sense may imply that if you are outsourcing your workplace safety to external consultants they should be responsible, however this is not the case. The answer to this is yes you are still responsible for your company’s health and safety even if you outsource it. Outsourcing your health and safety to professionals means that you are taking professional advice in order to ensure your workers are safe. By using the services of a professional safety consultant you can considerably reduce the risk of accidents and injury in the workplace. If an accident or injury occurs in your workplace and you are deemed to have put appropriate measures in place to help prevent such accidents then it is extremely unlikely you will be held responsible.
A Safe Working Environment
A professional safety consultant can assess your workplace environment and what safety requirements are necessary in order to ensure your workers are free from risk of injury or accidents. A safe working environment usually starts with a general safety assessment and a good safety policy. As a result of conducting risk assessments a professional safety consultant can help you to implement safe systems of work and an effective health and safety management system, which are essential to maintaining a safe working environment.
Implementing and Managing Your Own Health & Safety
If you decide not to use the services of professional health and safety consultants it is not impossible to put your own safety measures in place and manage safety within your organisation, however you should consider how much of your time it will take and whether or not you have the skills to manage your company’s health and safety effectively. It is important to note that in the event of an accident or injury by failing to implement correct and appropriate preventative safety measures you may be held responsible.
Appropriate Health & Safety Training
If you decide to take on the role and responsibilities which come with it you will require appropriate training in order to be able to conduct risk assessments, write a health and safety policy and put safety measures and controls in place to prevent accidents from happening etc. There are numerous health and safety training courses available in today’s market. Your really need to attend a course which is designed to educate course attendees to the standard of responsible person for health and safety as named in your company safety policy. It is generally not recommended to embark on a responsible persons health and safety course without any prior knowledge or at least basic safety training as you may find a responsible person course a little out of your depth, however this is not always the case. One of the UK’s most highly regarded occupational health and safety training course is the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, however individuals are advised to attend the IOSH Managing Safely course prior in order to give themselves an introduction to risk assessment and general health and safety.
Health & Safety Policy Tip
If your organisation employs five employees or more then it requires a written health and safety policy. It is a requirement for all companies to have a health and safety policy, however those with a minimum of five employees are specifically required to have a written policy which should be made available for all workers to view as and when they feel necessary.