024 7771 7503 sales@jchsafety.co.uk

Knowledge Share: Is it necessary to have a retained health and safety consultant? 

Aug 15, 2023

Yes, it is necessary to have a retained health and safety consultant, especially if you do not have an in-house safety expert within your business. It is also a legal requirement to have access to a competent safety expert.

We have put this blog together to help you to understand the requirement to have access to competent health and safety advice and to understand what is involved.

What is a retained health and safety consultant and what do they do?

A retained health and safety consultant is a person or company that provides ongoing competent health and safety support to your business over a period of time. They can help you avoid fines and potential prosecution if you get it wrong or don’t meet the ever-changing legislative requirements of health and safety. They can also provide you with advice, risk assessments, policies, procedures, training, site visits, health and safety audits, coaching, mentoring, safety inspections, fire risk assessments and much more. As you can tell, they do a lot! The level of support you will need from a competent safety expert will depend on several factors including the size and complexity of your business and the level of qualified and competent health and safety knowledge already within your organisation. Sometimes, just a light touch support agreement is required and on other occasions monthly visits may be required. It is always a good idea to have an in depth discussion with a potential health and safety consultancy before engaging their services. Don’t just make a decision based on cost. Find out about who will provide the support, whether it involves site visits or just remote support and get to know the skills and qualifications of the expert you will be working with. It is advisable to ensure you will be looked after by a Chartered Safety Practitioner and someone who is third party accredited in their field of expertise. Ask for proof and keep it on record.

It is never a good idea to just have access to distant telephone support for health and safety risks. We would advise regular personal contact which includes visits to your site(s).

What are the benefits of having a retained health and safety consultant?

There are several benefits to having access to a retained health and safety consultant. Here are just a few:

  • It is important to have access to professional support and guidance from a dedicated health and safety consultant.
  • You can gain compliance with the law which keeps your team safe, your reputation in tact and reduces the risk of prosecution.
  • You can have a cost effective, flexible and tailored service that suits your business size, sector and industry without the costs of employing a full or part time member of staff to do this.
  • Improved and sustainable health and safety performance by having a risk-based plan of action and regular audits.
  • Peace of mind in knowing that you are doing everything possible to keep your workplace safe.
  • You can gain the edge over competitors by demonstrating your commitment to health and safety which can lead to more work.
  • Ability to join approved schemes such as SafeContractor, Chas and Constructionline.
  • Assist in recruiting staff by providing an appealing, safe working environment.

At JCH Safety our retained service agreements are bespoke to our clients’ needs. We like to spend some time getting to know the client, to understand what the organisation does and to obtain the level of support a client will need. From here, we can put together a tailored package for our customers. For small businesses, our services start at just £600 per year and this is often paid monthly at £50 per month. Our larger clients look for greater support which can include monthly or quarterly visits and regular support, and so their fees reflect their requirements. Some clients look for support with prequalification schemes such as Chas as part of their service and this is something we are very happy to oblige with.

The costs are often much more affordable than you might think.

We have never used a health and safety consultant. What is involved in a health and safety visit?

JCH Safety pride ourselves on being down to earth and approachable safety experts. We are here to work with clients to keep their businesses safe which involves keeping staff free from harm and protecting business reputations by avoiding the negative media coverage that comes from health and safety disasters. Our health and safety visits involve a visit from our Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner. The visits usually start with a sit down and a chat about safety at the business and then the visit progresses to include a health and safety tour of the business to observe any identifiable safety risks. Our visits are always backed up by the issue of a written record of the visit and a suggestion for action items which are required.

How can JCH Safety help?

We are a small and friendly Chartered Health and Safety Practice based in Nuneaton, in the West Midlands. We work across Coventry and Warwickshire, and the wider Midlands, supporting businesses and organisations of various sizes with health and safety and fire risk assessments. As highly qualified specialists we have the training, competency and experience to work with a wide variety of organisations. Our clients include schools, academies, doctors’ surgeries, dentists, warehouses, offices, factories, pubs and hotels. We are available to support clients with all aspects of health and safety as well as fire risk assessments.

Our services include:

  • Retained health and safety services
  • One off safety consultations
  • Fire risk assessments
  • Online training
  • Health and safety inspections
  • Audits
  • Documentation (risk assessments and policies)
  • Assistance with prequalification schemes

JCH Safety are health and safety consultants based near Coventry. We provide a wide variety of fire safety services and health and safety advice. Please get in touch to find out more.

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