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Ad hoc or retained health and safety advice?

Which is better?  A simple enough question and yet one which has multiple possible answers.  Before you begin your search for health and safety advice there are several questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Is your business high or low risk?
  2. What internal resource do you currently have?
  3. Is there someone appropriately qualified and experienced in-house to act as your Competent Person?

High or low risk?

In order to identify whether your business is high or low risk you need to complete a thorough risk assessment.   Your risk assessments will identify any potential risks to your employees and will start your process of implementing control measures.  Every business is different, but as a general rule of thumb workplaces such as offices and other sedentary environments are likely to be low risk, and manufacturing and construction sectors will, typically, be high risk.  

Do we have internal health and safety advice?

The type and level of health and safety advice you require will, in part, be influenced by your internal resource.  Do you have someone who is appropriately experienced and qualified to co-ordinate your health and safety?  Are they suitable to act as your dedicated competent person?  If you do not have anyone sufficiently qualified or, if your business is high risk and complex, you may need to utilise someone externally as your competent person.  In this instance that external support will need to be on an ongoing annual or monthly retained basis. 

Ongoing support

Choosing health and safety advice on a retained basis can be a big plus in ensuring compliance.  Demonstrating that you have professional and qualified advice from a sector expert shows not only that your business is committed to a positive health and safety culture but that you have access to the latest legislative advice and best practice.  Retained health and safety advice can be implemented on an annual or monthly basis i.e. the cover agreed with your provider should be appropriate to the size and risk level of your business.  It does not need to be excessive or over complicated.  

Are you looking for advice?

At Atlas we understand that every business is different so are completely flexible with our services to meet your needs.  We can work with and support your in-house safety officer, or, if you do not have one, we can provide a full health and safety function for your business.  Please do get in touch to find out how we could support you.  

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