We have recently been asked by our local HSE to take part in a Government initiative to raise health & safety awareness to a wide scope of businesses on a large business estate. This scheme has been run at various locations across the UK but this is the first time that consultants and health & safety officers from larger businesses have been asked to take part. We are all giving our time for free.
Last week we all attended a training day to understand what the focus of the scheme is looking to achieve; and to find out what was expected of us. Clearly, giving up free time is not something most consultants would do but I felt that the experience gained would be worth the commitment. The day was extremely well attended by a mix of various regulators (HSE, Fire Service and Local Government) and private enterprise.
The next step is to canvass a very large business estate in Kent (Medway City Estate) to find businesses that will be prepared to allow the Estates Excellence team (of which we will a part of) to provide a free review of their health & safety. To further support the businesses there will also be free health & safety awareness sessions delivered locally in the following month.
It will probably be an extremely interesting experience of knocking on the doors of a wide variety of businesses to establish contacts to offer free advice, training and occupational support to. I’m sure many are going to viewing us suspiciously and thinking “but what’s the catch?”.
From our training we have to say there really isn`t one; this is purely an educational exercise to reach businesses that might not otherwise have access to the health & safety advice their business really needs.
The follow up assessments for those businesses that agree to them will be aimed at assessing the knowledge in the business and the actions the business has taken; it is not to check on compliance levels with legislation. All of this is supported by a series of drop in training sessions the business can send their staff on.
I will look to post more information on this after the various visits have taken place.