By Mick Purvis – Senior Health and Safety Consultant at Optimum Safety
Very often companies are so focused on the safety of their staff that the bigger picture can get overlooked. Having the right business strategy and legally compliant policies & procedures will ensure that a business does not end up with fines or improvement orders that follow an impromptu visit by the HSE or other enforcing authority.
A case study:
A medium sized Lincolnshire engineering company was visited by the HSE and although, in general they were found to be legally compliant there were a few areas that were identified as needing improvement. As a managing director or owner of an SME there is not always the resource to employ a full time health and safety expert, as was in this case. Following the visit the directors needed to implement a more thorough inspection and testing regime on equipment they were using in their workshop. The evidence was submitted direct to the HSE officer to prove the new improvements had been implemented and this included sending the Ph tests for the cooling/cutting fluids along with the inspection sheets.
The extra time, effort and expenditure to rectify these issues could have been eliminated if the directors had engaged the services of a health and safety specialist to assist them on a regular basis (e.g. a day a month.) A regular inspection regime would have been implemented and all defects and process changes acted upon before the visit from the HSE.
Evolving health and safety landscapes:
All types and sizes of business are subject to health and safety regulations and unless a company has a health and safety manager, it is very difficult for directors or senior managers to keep on top of changing legislation or best practice guidelines whilst trying to juggle all the other business responsibilities. By engaging the services of a health and safety advisor, the directors can remain confident that any health and safety issues will be identified and raised at a senior level to be dealt with appropriately.
Experienced, time served health and safety consultants are able to provide advice at the most senior level, give guidance on strategies, offer practical solutions, write safety management systems, deliver training and supply legally compliant documents. Furthermore consultants can provide support if any of your health and safety team are leaving, have left, or will be absent for a period of time.
A consultant can also act as a mentor for any new staff starting and help bridge the gap until the new member of staff are settled in their role and ready to take on the responsibilities required to manage the health and safety internally.
Using an established registered consultancy to work with senior managers or directors to achieve their health and safety targets or deal with identified health and safety issues, can prove to be a cost effective solution along with minimising any potential actions or fines from an enforcement agency visit.
If you need any further help or advice, get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help.