It is great news to be able to say that the United Kingdom is one of the safest place to work in the world. Over the last 50 years the number of people killed and injured at work has dropped considerably. One of the main reasons that less people are hurt by their work activities is due to the work of occupational safety and health practitioners implementing the requirements of health and safety legislation.
It is a legal requirement for all businesses and organisations to have access to competent health and safety advice. Many large organisations employ their own in-house health and safety specialists. These professionals manage the day to day legal requirements relating to health and safety at work, risk assessments, training and safety inspections, amongst other things. Smaller organisations, schools and businesses don’t have the resources to employ a permanent health and safety specialist despite the legal requirement to have access to health and safety advice. This is where health and safety consultants, such as JCH Safety, come in. Many small businesses, schools and organisations use something known as a retained service agreement with a professional chartered occupational safety and health company. This is an agreement where an organisation can designate the health and safety practice as their source of competent health and safety as required under health and safety law. What normally happens is that the health and safety practice designate a Chartered OSH Practitioner, as a consultant, to work with a customer to help them achieve health and safety compliance in their workplace. This includes writing the health and safety policy, risk assessments, fire risk assessments and carrying out training.
What happens when a health and safety consultant visits?
It is worth pointing out here that a health and safety consultant does not work for the HSE, which is one of a number of health and safety enforcing bodies operating in the UK. The idea of the health and safety consultant is to work for you to help your organisation comply with the law, rather than look to prosecute your business. One way of thinking about it is to say health and safety consultants are to health and safety law what accountants are to tax. We are here to help our clients comply with their legal obligations so to prevent prosecutions.
When we visit our clients we spend time with company directors and senior management to learn about the organisation. JCH Safety is a small practice which allows us to ensure that you always see the same consultant each time. We believe it is important that your adviser is familiar with your business, that they know you and your team and that they become part of your team. This is the best way to work with a consultancy. If you see a different person each time or you only communicate by email or telephone we would question how good this service is and what they are adding value-wise to your organisation. A JCH Safety consultancy visit involves safety tours of the premises – spotting hazards, as well as conducting desktop work such as document review and risk assessments. For many schools and small businesses these visits occur quarterly and take a few hours each time, depending on the work that needs to be done. A health and safety consultant will review your premises, machinery, working practices, fire safety and evacuation procedures each time. After the meeting an action plan will be developed to help you to tackle any potential safety shortcomings within your organisation. This can then be used as a template for subsequent meetings, allowing progress to be measured and achieved. A good health and safety consultant will get to know your staff as well as your management. This way staff will feel confident to discuss any issues they identify in your organisation which is really valuable to health and safety management.
Can anyone be a health and safety consultant?
No. It is really important to have access to competent health and safety advice. When appointing a health and safety consultant you need to do your research. As with every industry there are some good and some bad consultants. It is important that your consultant is qualified, ideally to Chartered level. They should be able to show you their qualifications, membership certificates of professional bodies such as IOSH and IIRSM. They should be able to provide you with their insurances, as well as evidence of their industry experience such as references. When appointing advisors make sure you appoint a good one!
What services do JCH Safety Offer?
JCH Safety Ltd are Chartered Occupational Health and Safety Consultants who work across Coventry and Warwickshire. We are also Fire Risk Assessors. Our services include retained service agreements, document writing, audits and inspections, training and fire risk management. We also help building contractors with SSiP schemes. Our areas of expertise include providing services to schools and the education sector; logistics and warehousing; refurbishment and building contracting; suppliers to the automotive industry; churches; small business activities and guidance for companies experiencing rapid growth. Our clients include a number of school academies across Coventry and Warwickshire, internet companies, charities, warehousing organisations, online retailers, specialist engineering companies and building contractors. We are always interested in talking to potential new customers and welcome any enquiries about our services.
If you would like any further information about this topic or any other fire, health and safety issues, please do not hesitate to get in touch.