Small Business Saturday Blog

Choosing Health and Safety Consultants

Friday, March 13 at 09:23HR

Unless you have the resources, experience and knowledge to focus on all aspects of workplace health and safety on your own, then eliciting help from expert consultants is likely to be extremely important. For most smaller companies, the cost of training individuals up to take on the mantle of health and safety officer, or the financial implications associated with hiring a specific member of staff simply to carry out such tasks, is likely to seem excessive and in turn most will find that paying for consultancy whenever processes need refining is the most sensible approach.

There will be many different companies offering consultancy services for those needing a more focused insight into health and safety and choosing the right company could make a huge difference to both your overheads and how effectively you can mitigate dangers within your premises. So how should you go about making such a choice?

What they should offer

The best consultants won’t suggest that they can manage all of your risks for you. Instead, the management of risks will have to come from your own staff (unless of course you decide to hire in a full time health and safety officer). Instead, consultancy firms will help you to identify the risks present in your workplace and offer you help and advice on how to deal with such hazards. In some cases, this may mean removing the risk altogether whilst in others this may just mean highlighting dangers and ensuring employees are equipped to deal with them.

The right firm should help you implement processes to manage the risks within your workplace, making certain that you are fully aware of the best procedures for your own business to help your staff remain as protected as possible from all potential health and safety issues.

It is also important that the services you receive are bespoke for your own needs. The company you choose should work with you to highlight risks based on your own unique workplace and your own unique procedures rather than offering a generic package that pays no attention to the way in which you work. In other words, health and safety assessments are not a processes that will be the same for every business and instead each specific company will need very specific consultancy.

Do your research

As well as checking to see what a consultant offers, make sure that you check their track record. Not only should they be reputable and have consistently good feedback from previous customers, but they should also have a vast experience of offering their services to businesses in your industry. They may be cheap and trustworthy but if they have never set foot in a warehouse, they might still not be right for you if that is exactly where you need to mitigate risk.

Choose a name that is synonymous with quality, such as Phoenix Health and Safety rather than a company that is only appealing due to its low prices. After all, the cost of getting things wrong will be far higher in the long run.

Before you make a final decision, talk with the company themselves. Not only should they be knowledgeable, flexible and accommodating, but the consultants should also be people you can feel comfortable talking to. If you cannot feel at ease when they are around, you may find that you do not get the best results or that you feel awkward asking for important points to be clarified.

Author bio: Andrew Freeman, on behalf of Phoenix HSC, is a blogger specialising in the fields of business and employment. He writes regularly about risk management in the workplace.

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