Appointed Person / Safety Advisor
(Also called Competent Person)

The glorious Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs (click the link and have a read of it if you want to get an understanding of what eternity must feel like - the bit you're after which relates to this is on page 21 - it opens as a PDF in a new window) set out a requirement for an employer to appoint "one or more competent persons" to help manage health and safety in the workplace. This doesn't mean that every employer has to go and employ a health and safety manager or safety advisor but at its most basic means an employer should know where to go to get assistance with managing health and safety as appropriate. Without wanting to quote wholesale from the above linked document, there is one bit which may be of use to pull out here. The basic regulation is to appoint a source of competent advice but the document then goes on to give the following as guidance in how to do this:

When seeking competent assistance employers should look to appoint one or more of their employees, with the necessary means, or themselves, to provide the health and safety assistance required. If there is no relevant competent worker in the organisation or the level of competence is insufficient to assist the employer in complying with health and safety law, the employer should enlist an external service or person. In some circumstances a combination of internal and external competence might be appropriate, recognising the limitations of the internal competence.

HSMC can undertake the safety advisor role for you, on a basis which is entirely designed to suit you. For example, three current arrangements we have in place for this are:

  • Bedford Estates (Woburn Abbey and Woburn Safari Park): We provide a minimum of one day per week on their site where we act as an in-house source of expertise, helping the Estate manage risk assessments, sitting in on the safety committee, training employees and much more. For this we act and work within the organsation.
  • Robinson Way (formerly London Scottish Bank): This is a much simpler workplace than the safari park therefore the same arrangement would be a bit OTT, hence we have an arrangement to be on call for advice as needed, with the agreement including being on-site for four days per year, mainly involving helping out on risk assessments, providing training and providing documentation, In this case we provide help by phone / email as needed and then pop in for specific tasks as they desire our presence.
  • TRAID (a charity with multiple sites around London) This one is fairly similar to Bedford Estate in that we manage TRAID's health and safety programme for them, popping into their sites around the city as needed.

In all cases, we are also on call for help and advice by telephone or e-mail throughout the contract period and the client can buy additional days at a discounted rate if needed.

As with the actual time on site, the work we do can be tailored to suit your individual needs - you tell us how you want it and we will set up an arrangement which does it. Our time on site can include:

  • Managing the risk assessment programme
  • Developing the necessary control and management systems for health and safety
  • Providing health and safety training to employees
  • Training in-house personnel to become competent in specific subject areas, helping reduce the reliance on outside contractors, if required.
  • Providing updates on health and safety legislation, including telephone and email support.
  • Noise assessment
  • Spirometry
  • Audiometry
  • Undertaking fire risk assessments, fire awareness training and fire marshal / fire warden training
  • Regular auditing and subsequent future planning
  • Attendance on health and safety committees or feeding into management meetings, etc.
  • Attending site for planned enforcement authority inspections
  • And if the worst does happen, accident investigation
  • Etc

We aren't dogmatic in what we will and will not include meaning you can get exactly the level of help you need from our Competent Person programme, whether its acting as a complete in-house service or providing a support for existing in-house personnel such as production, HR, etc.

There is one other benefit we can offer - a client may engage us for one person per day per week, per month, etc and we will assign one person to be the contact within HSMC to give continuity, but this doesn't mean we have to send the same person every time. Therefore, if a subject crops up which the main contact is less specialised in but someone else in HSMC can do we can swap them around to make sure we do all possible to make health and safety management run smoothly for you.

If this may be of use for you please just give us a shout and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

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