Health and safety compliance is all about ensuring that your organisation achieves its legal duties in managing health and safety. Many schools and academies pay out large sums of money to local authorities each year to manage their safety. JCH Safety are committed to helping schools and academies to reduce their health and safety costs by providing an alternative retainer service. We consult to a number of education providers in the West Midlands, helping them to take back control of their health and safety and their budgets.
How do we do this?
Firstly, we acknowledge that academies are ultimately responsible for their own health and safety. You can’t outsource this either to a local authority or a private provider in most circumstances. Paying more does not necessarily offer you a greater service, better qualified or experienced advice or immunity from prosecution. From this starting point, JCH Safety is committed to offering an honest, no frills consultancy service. Your fees are not for paying for expensive offices but for professional consultancy, advice and time. Our low overheads really help our school clients to make considerable cost savings without compromising service, qualifications or experience. Here are our five top tips to improve compliance whilst saving money:
1. Invest in training
Many schools have adequate resources to manage many aspects of their own safety. SSOs, SBMs and administrative staff are an amazing resource and who are more than capable of carrying out many health and safety functions. These functions are not onerous and can make considerable savings over time. For example, SSOs are brilliant for assisting with the management of fire safety and admin staff are great for carrying out DSE assessments. Their are many low cost courses available to ensure competency and to allow you to invest in your team. A JCH Safety online Assessing DSE Equipment course costs just £25 for example. This is a fraction of the cost of bringing in outside expertise. This sort of tactic is a way JCH Safety helps our clients save money. We teach people to manage safety properly and provide ongoing support to these people on the ground. We have a broad range of low cost, high quality health and safety training which is ideal for schools and academies. We even provide a template library and ongoing documents to ensure legal compliance.
2. Choose small, independent health and safety practices over large organisations and the local authority
Large organisations have large costs. Big businesses look for bigger profits to cover their core costs. Small, local providers do not have the same overheads but can provide a superior product. JCH Safety was formed with this ethos; to provide quality, low cost health and safety provision to protect life. We do not have expensive offices and administration systems to pay for. We do have state of the art IT and software provision to support highly trained, Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners. By ‘buying local’ you can build up a professional relationship and rapport with your consultant, who personally knows your organisation, premises and team. This is the best way to help your organisation to manage safety. We can provide our clients with state of the art software which makes light work of health and safety management. Have a look at the videos on our website home screen.
The freedom to purchase goods and services allows you to be in a prime position to negotiate the best deal. A one price fits all model means that you may well be subsidising other academies, local authority departments or organisations. At a time when budgets are tight, this can result in unnecessary costs that do not get better services or help with your level of compliance. Instead, ask potential safety and health practitioners to demonstrate their competence (they should be Chartered members of IOSH) in order to make sure you are getting the best advice for your money. Then find out the costs and ask for a break down. Also find out what additional costs you may face and how much they will be. Local practitioners, like JCH Safety, will be more than happy to do this.
4.Audit and Inspect
There is a prudent saying of ‘what gets measured, gets done.’ Ensure you have regular health and safety audits to make sure organisational health and safety compliance is increasing year on year. If you haven’t had a health and safety or fire safety audit in the last two years, you really should. You need to know where you are at to know where you are going. JCH Safety offers a free health and safety audit to clients every two years who subscribe to our retainer services. This way our clients can see improvements, can understand the value of their services and offer it as evidence to the HSE if required. You do not need to be a subscribed retainer client to ask JCH Safety to carry out a health and safety audit for your school. Please get in touch for a free quotation. An independent second opinion can be a very good idea for improving compliance.
5. Follow advice
Too often, organisations are misled to believing that an outside provider ‘does’ their health and safety for them. It is important to know that, in most cases, the Head Teacher and Board of Governors are responsible for health and safety. Although outside bodies assist and guide with health and safety, the ultimate responsibility for the management of health and safety is the academy itself. As a result, it is a really good idea to follow advice and to receive this advice in writing as much as possible. JCH Safety provides meeting minutes which summarizes the advice given and items discussed. This means that their is no confusion of what is needed to be done, by whom and it provides evidence of what is recommended. Action plans and written guidance really keep the management of safety simple and that ultimately always keeps costs low and improves compliance.