Wright Safety Solutions

established 2006


providing Health and Safety for Coventry and Warwickshire medium/small businesses

Your Safety Consultant

On this page I will try and explain how using a consultant for health and safety or environmental advice could benefit your business. If you are thinking of contacting Wright Safety Solutions then I'll be suggesting what questions you want to ask me and give tips on how we can manage our relationship.

Do you need a health and safety consultant?

Small businesses are often too busy to even know that they have safety issues. Quite often employees will be reluctant to report problems, preferring to get on with the job. Often there is an ignorance of the safety laws, a complacency with regard to use of chemicals and equipment, over-familiarity with the job, a total lack of safety culture. In small businesses such a situation can go on undetected, until there is an accident, and an accident in a small business can mean the end of the business, especially if the employer is prosecuted or sued by his employee.

Do your employees work as contractors at customer sites? Do you know who is responsible for their safety? Well, both you and your customer have a responsibility. You should ask your customer to conduct safety/risk assessments before your employees start work on their premises. Ideally you and your customer should conduct the assessement together, this is because your customer knows the environment for the job and the contractors know the task, the tools, the materials etc. Your customer may not have a qualified Safety Officer so for the best risk assessment you can insist that your customer employs a safety consultant, and you can ask Wright Safety Solutions to do this for you.

If you feel at risk because safety is not being dealt with at your company you might benefit from a complete review, and full programme of safety inspection, training and monitoring.

Using a safety consultant

Many businesses can successfully implement good health and safety and environmental practices themselves. They can afford their own Safety Officer or send their senior engineer on Safety courses and let him get on with it.

For a lot of small businesses, though, the burden of keeping safety awareness as a priority becomes too great and the managers and supervisors can find themselves too busy with their 'proper' job while the director or business owner has tried to delegate everything and has forgotten many of his responsibilities. If your business is 'too busy' for safety matters you can benefit from hiring a consultant - both to ensure you comply with the law and to free up management time. Your own safety consultant will take the time to work with ALL your staff, help to improve morale and may also be able to save you money by reducing waste and minimising your use of raw materials, energy and water.

Note:

If your main reason for wanting a safety consultant is as "access to a competent H&S person" e.g. for Constructionline or SafeContractor accreditation purposes, then please note that I may offer to help with this but I will need to verify that your operations and work practices comply with your own safety policy and your own risk assessments, and I will offer to re-write these where necessary. This verifiaction will require several inspections or audits of your workplace, likely 2 or more days work for me, so will cost at least 500.

Be sure you know you are hiring a professional Safety Consultant, who in the main will be able to demonstrate a qualification e.g. NEBOSH, IOSH, and several years experience in health and safety work e.g. TechIOSH, GradIOSH, CMIOSH, MIIRMS.

How can a health and safety consultant help?

Health and safety consultants can offer a wide range of services. They can help you to:

  • carry out your health and safety risk assessment and advise action to minimise risks
  • review your risk assessments when circumstances change
  • monitor legal compliance and keep you up to date with current legislation
  • help you liaise with officials from regulatory bodies - HSE, local councils, local fire service etc)
  • advise on specific issues - noise monitoring, machine guards, personal protective wear etc
  • provide builders and contractors with the necessary guidance to comply with the CDM regulations
  • assess your health and safety training requirements and carry out the training
  • write health and safety policies and strategies
  • monitor health and safety procedures and method statements to ensure they're being followed
  • produce reports and statistics on your health and safety performance
  • develop a complete occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS).

A complete management system can provide a framework to help you comply with your legal requirements on health and safety.

Wright Safety Solutions can help your business with ALL those safety issues. Click the buttons on the menu on the right of this page.

Once a complete management sytem is in place at your business you could apply for registration to the OHSAS 18001, the safety management system standard. This can be a way of demonstrating to customers, suppliers and staff that you take your health and safety responsibilities seriously, and could secure more business for longer.

Drawing up a contract with a your safety consultant

There are a number of key areas you need to cover when agreeing a contract with a safety consultant:

The nature and scope of the work should be clearly defined to avoid future misunderstandings. Clearly set out what you want the outcome of the consultant's work/project to be. The responsibilities of both parties should be set out in the contract. Both you and your consultant should know exactly who is responsible for which aspect of the project so that neither party is suddenly expected to produce significant extra work.

The financial side of the project should be clearly set out. My consultant's fees should be discussed and agreed. My basic rate is at present 36 per hour or discount 240 per day (120 per 4-hour half day) but Wright Safety Solutions is very flexible and I will consider any of these arrangements:

  • an hourly rate or a day rate for various visits
  • a monthly rate for an extended programme of work
  • a fixed fee for a well defined project
  • part of my fee can be made dependent on results and if so we can decide how these be measured
  • we can divide a project into manageable chunks and set deadlines for the completion of each one
  • we can agree how you want the results of the work to be explained to you
  • do you want a final report, weekly briefing sessions, a presentation to management or staff, or all of these options?
  • we should set out how we will resolve disputes. Decide how both parties can get out of the contract, and what will happen if we do
  • we will also agree how and when payment will be made

Managing the relationship with your safety consultant

As with any supplier, the relationship with your consultant needs regular monitoring and managing to ensure your business draws the maximum possible benefit from it. I will want to know if I am acheiving what you want.

If delivering a full programme of safety advice and activity, we can divide the project into a number of key stages, carrying out a review of progress at the end of each one.

We can carefully set your budgets and monitor my costs as the project progresses. You need to know you are getting value for money. If costs appear to be higher than your estimates we can talk about it and try to find out why.

When I am working on your site you will need to give me access to relevant areas of your business and to relevant employees. I might request access to confidential or commercially sensitive information, if so you should ask me to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Make sure you brief your employees on why you have a safety consultant and what work I am doing.

We should maintain regular contact through regular meetings and phone conversations. I will want opportunites to show you evidence of the work being done.

When you receive the consultant's final report, check you've understood all the recommendations. Make sure recommended actions are realistic and that you know exactly how to go about implementing them; I can stay involved or in contact while you implement the recommendations and we can agree on monthly visits to review progress and repeat any risk assessments.

Contact Wright Safety Solutions :

Wright Safety Solutions
John A. B. Wright
B.Sc. (Chem), TechIOSH
safety qualification: NEBOSH (Cert.)

Tel: (024) 76618235
Mobile: 0779 3880597

safety@jabw.demon.co.uk
http://www.wrightsafety.co.uk

References:

this page first published 3 February 2007
last updated 11 November 2014

Health and Safety for Coventry, Warwickshire and South Leicestershire small businesses

Category: Health and Safety consultants
Category: Health and Safety consultant
Category: Safety consultants
Category: Safety consultant


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