A friend recently asked if we could provide a range of health & safety training to his business, as they had an impending ISO audit due. In preparing for this he had realised that the training of the employees had not been kept up-to-date and he was concerned they would receive a major non-conformity.
It appears that his business had been forced to move health & safety advisors some two years before due to their advisor moving on. When this occurred the advisor sold his business to another consultancy but unfortunately they were HR advisors and not health & safety specialists. Unaware of this, the contract was renewed and left to the consultants to keep the business compliant and to manage health & safety issues.
This has caused his business problems as they now find themselves not where they need to be and chasing around to try to plug the gaps. It makes me wonder how many other businesses are out there in a similar position of paying someone to do a job that they are not equipped to do.
Clearly not all businesses will have the resources to bring health & safety in house and they will need to find someone to assist and this story shows how you need to engage with your consultants and understand what it is they are doing for you. The law is very clear that the ultimate responsibility still stays with the business.
Perhaps it’s time for your business to ask questions of your advisors or consultants in order to be sure that your health & safety is being effectively managed by people that are competent to do so.