We have for some time supported a number of businesses to submit the annual accreditation forms for schemes such as SAFEContractor and CHAS, and know just how much work tends to be involved. As each year passes, the criteria of evidence seems to increase and is scrutinised more and more thoroughly.
Of course, what the schemes are attempting to do is raise the bar on the levels of health & safety in the businesses that want (or more frequently need) the accreditation badge. This is fundamentally a target each business should be attempting to achieve; but there are cost and time limitations that can make this difficult.
I recently read a report from the EEF (manufacturer’s body) that 7 in 10 businesses cited they had seen the costs of health & safety compliance rise over the last 3 years and 80% confirmed they were spending more time on health & safety compliance.
The EEF has called on the Government to speed up its health & safety reforms which are supposedly going to reduce red tape and deal with compensation reforms. Only time will tell whether this will really achieve a positive outcome for these businesses.
One thing we do know is that the compliance schemes are unlikely to consider the principle of removing the burden on business and they will continue to demand more year on year. These schemes have obviously become very profitable over the years (or why else would there be so many appearing in competition with each other) and their strength is selling the benefits of being part of the scheme. The days of just paying your money and getting the badge are long gone.
In recent months we have been working with a number of SME’s who are not able to employ an in-house health & safety advisor to manage the process of achieving accreditation with SAFEContractor. In fact, only this week we have started with a new client in London; this business is doing many things it should be doing but would struggle to present the evidence in the right way. Our role is to take the burden and stress away from their management team and to manage the process of getting the badge; whilst they focus on doing what they are good at.
If this is something your business needs but struggles with why not drop us an email or pick up the phone and speak to our team. It could be a decision that makes your life a lot easier.