A very brief introduction to the Guidance.
Being safe at work is a fundamental principle to both employers and employees. Health and safety in the workplace shouldn’t be taken lightly, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide information and training to employees about safety requirements and risks involved at work. No matter what size the organisation, it is vital they have the proper health and safety processes in place. For some organisations, where they don’t have the capacity to handle this internally, they reach out to health and safety consultants.
What is a Health and Safety Consultant?
A health and safety consultant is a professional service role, offering advice and guidance to organisations and employers. Their job is to assist organisations to reduce health and safety risks in the workplace, as well as providing best practice consultancy to manage the process internally more efficiently.
Your health and safety consultant should be registered and qualified. Some qualifications you can expect to find are NEBOSH, NCRQ and NVQ. Day to day tasks of a health and safety consultant includes producing safety policies and procedures, auditing business processes, advising and training on health and safety practices, carrying out risk assessments and much more, our aim is to establish an auditable health safety management system for your business you can operate yourself.
Event health and safety consultants must be highly knowledgeable and health and safety competent as well as sector competent. Many public service organisations outsource their H&S services as they do not have the capacity to handle this internally.
Small businesses are often too busy to even know that they have safety issues. Quite often employees will be reluctant to report problems, preferring to get on with the job. Often there is an ignorance of the safety laws, a complacency with regard to use of chemicals and equipment, over-familiarity with the job, a total lack of safety culture. In small businesses such a situation can go on undetected, until there is an accident, and an accident in a small business can mean the end of the business, especially if the employer is prosecuted or sued by his employee.
Do your employees work as contractors at customer sites? Do you know who is responsible for their safety? Well, both you and your customer have a responsibility. You should ask your customer to conduct safety/risk assessments before your employees start work on their premises. Ideally you and your customer should conduct the assessement together, this is because your customer knows the environment for the job and the contractors know the task, the tools, the materials etc. Your customer may not have a competent Safety Advisor so for the best risk assessment you can insist that your customer employs a safety consultant, and you can ask Stagesafe to do this for you.
If you feel at risk because safety is not being dealt with at your company you might benefit from a complete review, and full programme of safety inspection, training and monitoring.
Health and Safety Consultancy Tools
Implementing new processes can be hard as employees can be resistant to change. Measuring health and safety performance and efficiency is also difficult as you cannot gain quantifiable data. What health and safety tools give your organisation, is the ability to measure performance as a result of efficient health and safety procedures, whilst providing a safe working environment for everyone by identifying and reducing hazards in the workplace.
Audit of Your Health and Safety System
Health and safety consultants offer a range of services to employers and organisations that improve their H&S processes. These services can start with an audit of your existing processes, procedures and standards. The health and safety audit gives employers an indication of where they are at with regards to managing safety and recommends improvements on how to best approach health and safety management in their industry. Consultants begin by assessing key practices against both legal responsibilities and best practices. Your consultant will investigate where you may be liable from a statutory or civil perspective and provide an easy to use action plan that will outline priority areas.
The aim of the health and safety audit is to identify the key areas where your organisation can improve their health and safety practices and processes. Your consultant will then work with you to deliver the tools and put in place best practices to make your health and safety management a more efficient process.
Professional H&S Policy
How you manage your health and safety processes will tell your staff, stakeholders and shareholders how committed you are to the safety in your workplace.
After auditing and advising on best practice Health and Safety processes, a useful tool to refer to is a health and safety policy. This official document is used by employers as a set of commitments and arrangements for managing health and safety practices in the workplace. An H&S Policy is a legal requirement if you have five or more employees and is best practice if you have less than this.
This official document doesn’t need to be confusing, and your health and safety consultant can assist by producing this for you.
Once you have your health and safety policy in place, it is almost useless unless it is effectively utilised. It is important for managers to act upon this H&S policy, enforcing regulations in the workplace and carrying out training. Both employees and employers need to regularly review the document to ensure a safe and productive health and safety practices.
Assess Hazards and Risk Assessments
Many organisations attempt to carry out risk assessments and health and a safety audit themselves. However, this can be counterproductive as the job may not be completed to a high enough standard.
As an employer, you cannot eliminate all risks in the workplace. But it is a legal requirement and the employer’s responsibility to minimise and control these risks in the workplace.
Outsourcing your organisations H&S services means that professionals visit your workplace and conduct risk assessments on your behalf. This means a guaranteed qualified consultant that will deliver risk assessments to industry regulatory standards.
The risk assessment process can begin with a health and safety audit, your consultant will then create a bespoke, compliant written record of the risk assessment. Your Health and safety advisor then produce a report with an easy to follow action plan that sets priority ratings.
Outsource Health and Safety Support
Thousands of organisations across the UK outsource their health and safety processes. This allows them to keep up to date with legislation changes and reduce workplace risks. As an employer, there are many benefits to reaching out and getting health and safety support.
The guide to choosing a safety consultant gives important independent information not just about selecting the right safety advisor but how to work with them so you get the best value for money and the bests results, it's essential reading.
The introduction to health and safety basics and documentation is for companies and organisations who are just getting to grips with health and safety, this also forms part of the Health and Safety Development Programme but is a basic guide for all.
Finally, selecting and managing contractors is the methodology for contractor management and selection, you are responsible for the contractors, they must be competent, we show you how to select them and manage H&S law expects. This is part of health and safety basics for both, promoters, event organisers and companies working in any industry.
There are now a lot of very competent people about who have training and experience but who have trouble obtaining work, this is because there are also employers who are not competent enough to know and understand they need to employ competent people and they don't really know, care or understand who is actually competent and how to select and employ them! Employers also need training in selecting the right staff.
There are also those who know they should employ competent persons but don’t as they wrongly consider it’s cheaper to employ those who are far less competent. If you think health and safety consultants are expensive, try having an accident!