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News Post

11/08/2021

What Do Health and Safety Consultants Do?

As determined by a House of Lord’s judgement in 1932, organisations have a duty of care to the health and safety of their employees and direct customers, as well as other people who could be affected by the organisation. 

As revealed by case law, employers are obliged to protect people’s health by shielding them from exposure to noise, vibration, asbestos and other harmful substances, not to mention accidents. The definition of “health” here also extends to mental health. 

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers must do whatever is “reasonably practicable” to protect their employees’ health, safety, and wellbeing – this includes taking all reasonable steps to ensure safety in the employer’s workplace. 

If all of this sounds like a lot of responsibility, that’s because it is. However, it’s a responsibility that your organisation is legally required to meet – with fines, disqualifications, suspensions, and even prison sentences included in the list of penalties waiting for companies that fail to comply. 

While the responsibility for adherence to health and safety regulations ultimately rests with the business owner, you can still achieve this compliance with help from people outside of your business such as the health and safety consultants here at SMS Europe.

When Might Businesses Need Health and Safety Consultants?

Usually, managing a workplace’s health and safety isn’t arduous, especially for small businesses of between 2-5 people – and you could find that your company can do much of that work in-house.

However, the Health and Safety Executive outlines two scenarios where, when it comes to meeting its health and safety obligations, your business may need help and advice from an external source:

  • Your business is large, complex and/or high-risk.
  • Your company’s workforce lacks the competence to manage health and safety.

It remains important to emphasise that, even if you do utilise the services of a health and safety consultant, managing health and safety remains your legal duty. 

This legal position was made stark in one well-publicised case when a quarrying company was fined for not ensuring an adequate risk assessment for employees’ handling of hazardous substances. The company had asked a consultant to provide the assessment, but the HSE Principal Inspector insisted: “You cannot outsource your responsibilities – the duty of care remains with you as an employer.”

Is There a Health and Safety Consultants Register?

Yes, there is – it’s called the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR). This is a list of consultants available to provide health and safety advice to UK businesses. Each of these consultants is a certified professional who: 

  • Has a status recognised by a professional body.
  • Holds valid insurance.
  • Is fully updated on the latest health & safety standards.

As our own health and safety consultants are registered on the OSHCR, you can rest assured that they meet all of these criteria. We are happy to provide health and safety consultants in Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, and nearby places where companies need their specialist expertise. 

The Financial Aspect of Using Health and Safety Consultants 

We have already noted how these consultants can help your organisation to make cost savings by avoiding fines that you would otherwise risk incurring were you to violate the regulations. However, you could still understandably be wondering: “How much do health and safety consultants charge?”

In your mind, that question might have gone hand-in-hand with “Do consultants make a lot of money?” It’s true that even starting salaries for health and safety advisers are typically around £24,000 to £32,000, while senior advisors can easily earn upwards of £40,000.

However, the bespoke nature of our safety services means that we can carefully tailor them to suit your company’s specific requirements. For this reason, if you are interested in drawing upon any of these services, we invite you to contact our team to let us know what these requirements are.

Once we have put together a custom solution for you, we can start to discuss pricing. For example, we could simply equip your business with risk assessments, write its health and safety policy or conduct health and safety audits – depending on what you specifically ask us for. 

We Offer An Extensive Range of Consultancy Solutions 

Our flexible approach allows you to mix and match how you handle your company’s legal responsibilities about health and safety. For example, while you might be content with managing some of those in-house, others beyond your workforce’s expertise could be outsourced.

This is why we are dedicated to offering a broad range of health and safety consultancy services from which you can pick and choose, rather than tying you into a rigid contract that could leave you essentially paying for certain services that would replicate what you could already do yourself.

The range of consultancy services available from our team includes:

  • Improving health and safety compliance paperwork.
  • Delivering health and safety awareness training courses.
  • Providing up-to-date safety advice.
  • Assisting with documentation to help businesses achieve the contractor-approved status.

We are based in Tadcaster, the North Yorkshire settlement from which we can deliver a wide range of specialist services to the public, private and third sectors. Our safety consultants have worked in York, Harrogate and the North East and North West, serving a range of clientele. 

What Is Required To Be A Safety Consultant? 

The job of a health and safety advisor, though generally office-based, can be highly varied in its responsibilities. For example, an advisor can sometimes be required to:

  • Spend time at other working premises, such as factories and processing plants.
  • Work at heights in cramped, noisy or dangerous conditions.
  • Wear protective clothing during visits to workplaces.

One question possibly playing on your mind is: “What qualifications do you need to be a health and safety consultant?” There are many qualifications suitable for people aiming to move into this line of work – some good examples of such courses include: 

  • The National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.
  • The Certificate in Applied Health and Safety.
  • NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.

However, a degree is not strictly necessary for getting work in the health and safety field; a suitable combination of relevant qualifications and experience can otherwise suffice.

We Can Send Certified Individuals To Companies Across The Country 

With our health & safety consultants at close hand, you can rein in the cost of health and safety compliance and keep your business safe from penalties relating to non-compliance.

We can serve a wide array of companies from various sectors – including but certainly not limited to the creative, legal, construction, and bioprocess industries. To ask us any questions about our work and learn more about what we could do for your particular organisation, please contact us by phone on 0845 224 0028 or email office@smseurope.co.uk.

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