Health and safety is commonly seen as a burden for business owners, particularly if there isn’t a suitable person within the firm to deal with issues arising on a day-to-day basis. There is an alternative, however – a good health and safety consultancy can provide vital support.
As an employer you must provide a safe working environment for your staff and protect the welfare of any visitors to your premises. Failing to do so risks contravening the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1976, so this is an important area of business.
The fact that you must appoint a ‘competent person’ to oversee health and safety in your organisation may lead to you seeking help from an independent consultancy. By doing so you can meet all your obligations whilst staying focused on running the business, but what will a health and safety consultancy do in practice?
The role of a health and safety consultancy
A health and safety consultant’s role involves identifying risks within a workplace, and if they can’t be completely eradicated, advising business owners on the steps they need to take to manage these risks.
It’s important to consider the areas where you might need help before you approach an external consultancy – you may be looking for assistance in developing health and safety policies and procedures, for example, or carrying out regular risk assessments.
When might you need a health and safety consultancy?
Businesses often need a health and safety consultancy at specific points in their lifetime – at the start-up phase, for example, or following expansion, but also for one-off instances such as a change in legislation or when an incident has occurred in the workplace.
Being clear about why you’re asking for help can save you time and money and ensures you’re not tied into a contract you don’t need. So what should you look for in a good health and safety consultancy?
What to look for in a health and safety consultancy
These are just some of the elements you’ll want to consider:
- Formal qualifications and certification
- Relevant practical experience in your industry
- Official accreditation for their services
- Membership of appropriate bodies and associations
You may be able to find the right health and safety consultant by approaching your local council, trade association, or trade union, or carrying out a search online. Obtaining referrals and recommendations from trusted business owners is also a good idea.
Practical experience of the health and safety issues you face in your industry is an important element when choosing the best consultancy. You’ll benefit from specialist knowledge and can be confident that your health and safety obligations are covered.
Acorn Health and Safety is a professional health and safety consultancy helping property and construction managers comply with UK health and safety laws. We offer CDM consultancy services, retained consultancy services, fire risk assessments, and construction health and safety inspections/audits. Please contact us for more information or obtain a free quote online.