Health and safety basics to protect your business – who’s in charge?

Posted: 07 December 2022

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 set out what employers are required to do to manage health and safety within the legislation.

Every business is required to appoint a competent person

There is a specific regulation that requires every employer shall appoint one or more competent person to assist them in undertaking measures they needs to comply. This places a significant duty on every business to have a competent person or group of persons to help them meet their health and safety obligations.

Anyone may be appointed this includes appointing yourself, one or more of your workers or seeking help from outside your business. However, if you decide to seek external help from a health and safety consultant, it is important to remember that health and safety will still be your legal duty despite employing someone from outside your business.

It is important to ensure you get the right help and ensure that the health and safety consultant or adviser you employ has the relevant competencies.

HSE basics

How to get the right advice

It will not assist you or your business to spend money on advice that does not ensure you are complying with your health and safety obligations. One way to ensure that the advice you receive is suitable is by making sure that the competent person have relevant training and expertise this should include experience in your industry or formal qualification, you should also check that they are insured.

Set out clear goals & timeline

Employing someone to assist with your health and safety management can enable you to be more equipped in dealing with the health and safety duties however, in order to benefit from their help, you should seek to understand exactly what it is you require help with. You may need help with putting control measures in place or, you may already have control measures in place, but you need help to efficiently monitor and maintain them or perhaps you need assistance with managing health and safety across the board of your business. Once you have a clear outline of what you require, you should ask the consultant or adviser exactly what they can and will do and the time scale for when this will be achieved. Setting a clear goal and timeline allows you to be clear from the outset what your business needs to achieve a robust health and safety system.

Long term benefit

In order to have a long-term benefit from the guidance you receive, ensure the advice given is specific to your workplace and not generalised. Advice should be practical, and knowledge and experience based- Rooted on control measures that are reasonably practicable so that it assists you and your business the production of generic paperwork will have little benefit if health and safety systems are not applied across your business. If the advice offered is not practical, voice this to your consultant as they may be able to offer alternative solutions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) is a record of consultants who are certified professionals who can offer up-to-date and insured assistance to UK businesses.

Our regulatory team

If you need help determining who should be in charge of your health and safety or what sort of assistance your business needs get in touch with our regulatory crime team, we would be happy to help point you in the right direction to help keep your business protected.

Are you a Company looking for help to improve your Health and Safety? Have you been contacted by the Health and Safety Executive, Local Authority or Regulatory Body and don’t know what to do? Contact us, we would be happy to help. Call 01245 49959, send an email or complete our online form

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