What Does it Mean to Outsource Health and Safety?
If you are operating a growing SME (small/medium-sized business), it often makes sound financial sense to outsource health and safety support for your organisation.
By doing so, you can count on the expertise of qualified H&S professionals, as little or as much as you need them.
As a business operator, it’s essential to understand the obligations of local health and safety law. In the UK, one of those requirements is the need to ‘appoint a health and safety competent person’. Let us explain what this means in more detail…
What is a Health and Safety Competent Person?
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (UK) state that you must appoint a health and safety competent person to enable you to meet the requirements of health and safety law.
But what do they mean when we refer to a health and safety competent person?
A ‘health and safety competent person’ is someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly.
The level of ‘health and safety competence’ required will depend on the complexity of the situation and the operations of your business.
In many cases, there may be appropriate expertise within the business to cope with it, as an additional responsibility. Other businesses may want to employ someone (or a team) specifically to look after health and safety.
With that said, sometimes it is simply the case that neither of these options are particularly suitable, acceptable, or perhaps more importantly, effective.
This is where the option to outsource health and safety to those with H&S expertise may be worth considering for your business. For many SME’s, it suits perfectly to have remote health and safety support available when they need it.
Let’s look at why it works for many businesses…
Why Would You Outsource Health and Safety?
Sometimes it’s easiest to upskill someone within your business to take ownership of health and safety duties. However, it can be difficult to find a reliable, long-term solution.
Another option is to outsource health and safety, handing the competent person role to qualified specialists.
This means that you have outsourced health and safety support and expertise that is there when you need it.
Once things are set up and running smoothly, many small businesses benefit from the light touch and reassurance of a health and safety competent person service.
Is Outsourcing Health and Safety a Wise Choice?
We don’t agree that choosing to outsource health and safety is silver bullet for any business. In reality, you can’t fully outsource health and safety, as it is must be fundamental to everyday business operations.
Finding Reliable Health and Safety Support
f you want to outsource health and safety, you should always get the right type of advice for your business. To ensure you find an appropriately qualified professional, IOSH is a great place to start.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s largest health and safety membership body and the only one currently with a Royal Charter.
With over 44,000 members in 99 countries, IOSH is committed to ensuring that global work practices are safe, healthy and sustainable. IOSH is a UK-based organisation offering professional qualifications in order to raise standards of health and safety in the workplace.
If you looking for a health and safety ‘competent person’, their level of IOSH membership is a helpful indicator of their level of experience. Chartered Members work under the IOSH Code of Conduct, this ensures that the level of competence, work quality and integrity is ensured for your business.
Based in Belfast (UK), any work undertaken by Safeti via our Competent Person Service UK & Ireland is carried out and/or overseen by a fully Chartered (CMIOSH) H&S professional.
OSH professionals with a sustained level of involvement in health and safety over the course of their career often opt to become Chartered – the process of chartership entails providing comprehensive evidence of sustained professional development and peer review.
Once Chartership is achieved from an appropriate professional body (such as IOSH), the individual can apply to be registered on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultant’s Register.
Selecting an Outsourced Health and Safety Service
The HSE’s OSH Consultant’s Register (OSHCR) makes it easier for you to select an outsourced health and safety service for your business.
You can identify those people who have the right qualifications, knowledge and experience to support your business with health and safety. Approved Consultants have a detailed profile on the OSHCR website, including myself, Safeti founder and Principal H&S Consultant, Richard Collins.
OSHCR is a public register of UK-based health and safety consultants, set up by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to assist UK employers and business owners with competent advice on workplace health and safety issues.
Is it Costly to Outsource Health and Safety?
Many are discouraged from the decision to outsource health and safety responsibilities due to questions around cost. That’s why we keep things very transparent here at Safeti. The cost to retain health and safety expertise by using the resource on an ad-hoc basis is usually much lower than employing a full-time health and safety representative (or team)!
The beauty of the Competent Person Service is that it can be tailored to fit perfectly with your needs and budget, expanding and contracting with the natural flow of your business. Our service starts from as little as £79 per month!
As such, for many of our SME client’s, the decision to outsource health and safety is an easy one.
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If you would like to discuss the Health and Safety Competent Person Service with us, just drop us a message below or using our chat tool in the bottom right of the page.