Using A Health and Safety Consultant |
Health and safety consultants can be used in a variety of ways for example writing a policy and conducting risk assessment or annual reviews and audits. The size of your organization in terms of its number of employees and element of risk can contribute toward the decision to use an external 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 even if you outsource this part of your business. Outsourcing your company's health and safety to professionals shows 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 consultant can assess your health and safety 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 an audit or assessment and a good safety policy. As a result of conducting risk assessments a professional 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
If you decide not to use the services of professional health and safety consultants it is possible put your own measures in place and manage your organization, 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 safety effectively. It is important to note that in the event of an accident or injury by failing to implement correct and appropriate preventative measures you may be held responsible.
If you decide to take on the role and responsibilities which come with managing this part of your business you will require appropriate training in order to be able to successfully and effectively conduct risk assessments, write a policy and put measures and controls in place to prevent accidents from happening etc. There are numerous training courses available in today's market. Your really need to attend a course which is designed to educate delegates to the standard of responsible person as named in your company safety policy. It is generally not recommended to embark on a responsible persons course without any prior knowledge or at least previous basic training. You may find a responsible person course a little out of your depth, however this is not always the case. A highly regarded occupational safety training course in the UK is the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, however individuals are often advised to attend the IOSH Managing Safely course prior in order to ascertain an understanding of risk assessment and general safety principles.
Tip - Putting A Policy In Place
If your organization employs five employees or more than it requires a written health and safety policy. It is a requirement for all companies to have a 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.
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