Competency in health and safety is essential for every organisation, whatever the size. To keep your employees safe at work, you must comply with health and safety legislation.
The law requires every organisation to appoint a ‘competent’ person to manage health and safety in the workplace, but what is competency defined as? If you lack a competent person in-house, where can you find competent advice?
Here’s everything you need to know about competent health and safety advice – and where to find it.
What do you need to do to manage your organisation’s health and safety?
As an employer, it is your legal responsibility to:
- Appoint a competent person
- Create a health and safety policy
- Carry out risk assessments
- Provide adequate information and training
- Inform employees about health and safety policies
- Make arrangements for first aid and accidents
- Provide the right facilities
- Get insurance
This is a lot for business owners to take on, so your competent person must be able to support and advise you on health and safety in your workplace.
Why do I need a competent person?
It is a legal requirement for employers to appoint a competent person or people to help your organisation comply with health and safety legislation.
While the law does not name specific qualifications, your competent person must have the skills, knowledge and experience to recognise hazards in your premises and mitigate them. The most widely recognised qualifications for health and safety competence come through NEBOSH (the exam board) and through membership of IOSH (The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health).
Your competent person can be the business or organisation owner, employees or people outside of the organisation.
It’s important to remember that as the employer, health and safety is still your legal responsibility – even with a competent person in place.
Which laws refer to competent health and safety advice?
The following legislation refers to competent people giving health and safety advice:
- Regulation 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – This requires all employers to appoint a competent person to help them comply with health and safety regulations.
- Part 2 (18) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – This requires a ‘competent’ person to assist in arranging preventive and protective fire safety measures for your premises.
- Part 3(8)(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 – This requires the allocation of sufficient resources, such as a competent person, to ensure safety on construction sites.
Where to find competent health and safety advice
If there are no competent people within your organisation to manage health and safety, you must appoint an external person or people.
Remember, competent people will have the skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to manage your health and safety.
Health and safety consultancies are popular choices for external competent advice. However, it’s important to check that the consultant you use has the right qualifications and experience.
HCS Safety’s health & safety membership service
At HCS Safety, we provide a comprehensive Membership Service to provide organisations with competent health and safety advice all year round. All our advisers hold qualifications in health and safety, coupled with years of industry experience to make them wholly competent, legally accurate advisers for businesses of all natures.
Our Membership Service includes:
- Access to competent advice
- Health and safety policy
- Competence and consultation
- Working safely guidelines
- Monitoring and recording tools
- Auditing and reviewing techniques
- On-call duty advisor
- Annual safety review
- Accident investigations
- Seminars and workshops
- Annual safety forum
- Online health and safety portal
- Monthly newsletter
- Exclusive preferential rates for training and consultancy
To find out more and discuss your health and safety requirements, contact our team today.