14 December 2018
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Health and safety consultancy

These consultants provide expert advice on workplace health and safety, and give guidance on the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and recommendations on issues like safety regulations, workplace accidents and safety laws.

When an organisation needs specialist advice on a particularly complex part of their business they are more than likely to seek the services of a consultancy firm. These firms have experienced professionals who are experts in their field. On this page we will look at what health and safety consultancy firms do. What services they offer, and how their consultants help their clients and customers with solutions to improve workplace health and safety as well as assist in any disputes regarding negligence.

By employing the services of independent safety consultants having a risk assessments report and following their recommendations a company can show that it has taken reasonable steps to look after the welfare of its employees. By showing that it is has complied with its legal requirements on health regulations, this can help a organizations case in the future if any staff member tries to sue you for any alleged work related injuries. It will also help improve the moral of company employees by showing them the company executives are concerned about their welfare. For many businesses it is more cost effective to employ a short term consultant rather than have to employ a dedicated full time member of staff for this role.

H&S professionals in the consultancy industry work in and cover all industries from manufacturing, offices, public sector to building sites.

Safety management
Means a dedicated manager of management team whose aim is to develop a safety culture and procedures aimed at reducing the risk of accidents within the workplace. The tasks of the safety audit team will be to set targets to be met and produce a action plan. Management techniques will be used to identify those areas in a office or factory which are hazardous and where accidents are likely to happen. Organizing training workshops for key personnel to educate them in fire training procedures, safety legislation etc. Having a administrative system in place to monitor and track progress and incidents and compile reports for senior management.

Examples of a occupational health and safety consultant work:
A competent practitioner will take a hard look at all of the activities of a company and identify those staff who appear to be most at risk of injury. This could be a worker whose job involves manual handling and who has to lift heavy objects, now if this is not done properly they could damage their back. A consultant will arrange for safety training to be provided to the staff to demonstrate the correct lifting procedure.

Noise levels
Another example is of the noise levels in say a factory, due to machinery that can cause hearing impairment. If ear plugs or other equipment is not work then a workers ears can be permanently damaged. A consultant can advise on the legal requirements and levels of noise permissible and what safety equipment a employer needs to provide their workers.

Accident reporting procedure
They can will offer advice on accident reporting by staff and procedure on how to investigate these. Showing you where to place electrical items, to reduce the chances of fires breaking out.

Health and safety policy statement
Being able to show a statement of intent usually in the form of a health and safety policy is a legal requirement if you employ more than five people. After the policy has been developed and typed up it must be dated and also signed by senior management. This is a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Now what the Act also states is that the policy document should be updated to reflect any related changes in the law. In large corporations a handbook is sometimes produced and made available outlining a more detailed commitment.

Safety signs
These are signs posted around a work environment highlighting dangers to like fire safety to staff. Typical ones will be about fire risk, or pointing out an emergency exit. It is a legal obligation to put up these signs in the correct locations. There are many different signs like prohibition signs, a good example of this would be the ‘No Smoking’ one, which has a drawing of a cigarette in a red circle. Mandatory signs are for tasks like keeping a fire door shut.
All signs like these can be considered another tool to communicate and tell your staff about important health and safety information.

Related resources and articles:
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Risk assessment
Health and safety training courses


Health and safety training courses
Online health and safety courses

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