Without a doubt, safety at the workplace is crucial to the success of your business. For this reason, it is imperative to implement safety standards and practices, however, many companies lack the necessary know-how to do so.
Armed with the appropriate resources and expertise, health and safety consultants can offer the most effective solutions to temporary or one-off projects, while they can also provide medium or long-term consultancy, minimising any risks at the workplace. In addition, employing experienced health and safety consultants is imperative in helping your business meet its legal obligations in this field for your employees, visitors and customers' sake.
What are the primary services offered?
General risk assessments - this involves identifying any existing hazards present and assess the possible risks. Should there be any involved, the consultant will indicate the recommended actions that must be taken, which usually involves solutions that do not cause any delays or disruptions to the workforce. This assessment process may also show that there is a need for a more specific risk assessment or one that is more tailored to your needs.
Specific risk assessments - this consists of assessments that target one or more hazards which are usually present because of certain occupational environments. Such assessments typically cover areas such as manual handling which relates to work involving heavy lifting that may cause musculoskeletal disorders to employees, fire risk evaluations, working at height assessment, as well as assessments that pertain to the control of substances that can be harmful to human health like biological or chemical hazards. The service involves improving work processes and operating procedures which will help towards achieving a safer and more productive working environment. Other forms of evaluation include determining noise levels employees are possibly exposed to, appraising any risks that may be encountered by employees under 17 years of age, workers who are nursing or are expectant mothers.
Safety Management - with the aim to assist companies and organisations in safety and risk management, a number of health and safety consultants can help you ameliorate the way you manage health and safety in the workplace. This can be done via management and reporting, auditing, the provisioning of safety manuals and documents, outlining policies and procedures, as well as monitoring and reviewing. In effect, having a clear health and safety policy is imperative in outlining the safety objectives and responsibilities for each member within a company and for setting the standards for work processes.
Emergency evacuation procedures - Whether you're faced with a fire or some other form of an emergency, it is crucial to have evacuation procedures in place. Health and safety consultants can help by monitoring the processes in place and can assist you in remedying any recurrences of bad practice. This could involve appointing emergency control personnel, designating appropriate meeting points and assisting individuals in immediate danger amongst other things.
Construction industry - one other topic health and safety consultants help companies with is planning works in association with construction. This could relate to the construction of new buildings or the renovation of an existing one, while it involves activities such as assembly and disassembly of prefabricated elements, demolition, cleaning work and drainage amongst other construction jobs. At the same time, the firm can provide recommendations for protecting the safety of workers and will make sure that safety control measures are followed by everyone involved. In addition to consulting, some firms may also provide construction site management whereby they inspect, record and correct any hazardous activity, ensuring at the same time that both local and European legislation is adhered to throughout the project.
What type of training is offered?
Training your staff on the basic rules and regulations of occupational health and safety is imperative to avoid any mishaps at your place of work. Most health and safety consultancy firms offer various training courses that can either take place at your premises or at the consultancy so it's best to book in advance. These can range from so-called toolbox talks to workshops that lead to official accreditation and may cover any of the following topics - risk management, first aid, office ergonomics, personal protective equipment training, equipment operation safety, basic fire fighting, manual handling and defensive training to name a few. These courses provide advice on how to identify, assess and control common risks. Alternatively, e-learning or distance learning courses are also available. Such courses consist of step-by-step guides and various hard copy versions that explicate the course in detail just as a tutor would. Typically, customers prefer selecting a few members of their staff to be trained for particular courses, therefore developing in-house competence to manage any potential health and safety risks should they arise.