In the last month we have completed a health and safety audit on a company with sites across the U.K. This business has for some years worked with another large health and safety consultancy but recently had concerns over what they were getting for the considerable amount of money they were paying.
The business had gone along believing for years that all was well, as the consultants would go around the country and find very little wrong and would even award them gold star status for their health and safety. However they recently decided the £20k plus they were paying could be more effectively spent and decided to install an in-house health and safety manager.
The new manager was concerned as to whether the health and safety systems were really up to scratch and agreed with his boss to get an independent assessment. MESH worked closely with their manager to audit one of the businesses larger sites over a two day period. What was found was that the health and safety systems had very little substance once we dug below the surface of the policy and procedures.
It was found that the previous consultants must have taken an off the shelf health and safety package and had put this into the client`s business with little thought as to how the business actually operates. The most frustrating issue was why so many previous audits had given the business a false picture of its safety level and compliance.
Some may question as to why the business had not recognised this before; but in their defence they had believed that employing a well-known consultancy was sufficient to allow them to concentrate on what they do best. Would your business question the supposed experts?
This business did take a step back; albeit after spending large sums of money and is now aware that all is not as well as they had hoped. They do however have a plan for the health and safety manager to audit more sites across the business using the same approach as we assisted them with.
This business has taken positive action to question what they were being told; could your business be in a similar situation? We would urge you to ask some searching questions of your experts; because if it goes badly wrong it’s still you who may be in court defending your business on a health and safety charge.