The Importance Of Managing Health & Safety Competently

Business Insights

As businesses look towards returning to the workplace, Simon Ringham, consultant at Safety Management Limited, discusses the importance of managing Health & Safety competently and the benefits of outsourcing Health and Safety expertise.

Health & Safety in the workplace is an essential element of every business’s organisational structure, however large or small the business may be. The onset of Covid-19 has perhaps brought this area of governance into the spotlight more than ever before, particularly when it relates to home workers.

There is a legal requirement under The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, that every employer* shall appoint one or more competent person to assist them in undertaking the measures they need to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon them. The requirement extends to staff who work wholly or partly from home.

All this can be quite a challenge, particularly as regulations and requirements are regularly updated and managers have their core business to run.

For smaller businesses the cost of employing a H&S person is usually not viable so this becomes a split role, where one individual who has many responsibilities struggles to do all of these to a high standard.

For organisations who do employ a person to handle this area of the business, the level of engagement is often tactical with no real strategic insight and can be too focused online management complexities and too close to the day-to-day to see the bigger picture.

It is becoming more and more common for employers to outsource H&S management and here we look at some of the reasons why:

Expert resources for half the cost

Employing a H&S person and keeping them trained and up to date can be costly. Using a specialist organisation offers better value for money, with access to multiple experts, all covered under the same fee. The cost of this expertise is often less than half of the in-house cost.

Peace of mind

Average fines for health and safety prosecutions can run to tens of thousands of pounds. It makes sense to ensure you have the best guidance to avoid potential accidents, legal fees and compensation pay outs, giving you and your employees peace of mind.

Having the confidence that H&S is being handled in a consistent, timely and expert manner, makes for a happier work environment, and helps increase output. Not only that, but it builds reputation. Staff and customers can feel assured that the correct procedures are in place.

As 2020 has shown, people buy services and goods from people they trust and whose policies they relate to. Being able to confidently say that your H&S is second to none is not just a positive for staff and management but will gain respect from customers, potential clients, and your peers.

Industry insights

Providing a Benchmark Audit, assessing your business against other similar ones, can help focus on what you need to do to be competitive and could flag up any USPs too. High quality consultants can help implement best practice using knowledge of strategies seen in other companies; what has worked and where there have been issues. Using these insights gained over time is an invaluable resource.

Many large businesses have multiple facilities where there are varying types of risk, such as warehouses, transport hubs, factories, and offices. Outsourcing will provide specialist support in all these areas, while managing the whole effectively.

Increased efficiency

Legislation changes constantly and a lot of time and resources can be required to keep up. Using a H&S specialist allows you and your staff to free up time to do what you do best: run your business. An effective H&S strategy will increase efficiency in all areas of the company internally, allowing for a more streamlined and focused output.

Bespoke service

A good consultant will be part of your team but with the added ability of being able to see the bigger picture and your specific needs. By gaining a thorough understanding of your business, consultants can often identify and solve issues before they have been flagged up.

Managing Health & Safety effectively is about making use of your resources as efficiently as possible. Harnessing the knowledge of each company, its employees and systems on an individual basis and using specialist expertise to put strategies in place.