With increased focus being put on health and safety within workplaces, there has been a large increase in the number of health and safety professionals in the marketplace.
Many small businesses feel they do not have the time or skills to comply with the new regulations and are tempted to engage an adviser. Now WorkSafe has issued a warning to businesses to carry out their due diligence when considering engaging the services of an H&S consultant.
Complying with health and safety regulations needs to be an ongoing process – simply purchasing a pre-filled folder of forms, policies and procedures which sits on a shelf is not considered to be meeting your health and safety obligations.
Health and safety compliance requires continuous monitoring of risk assessments, and adopting processes to ensure those risks are removed or mitigated. It involves creating a workplace culture where everyone within the business is actively involved in exercising safe practices.
There is no substitute for the unique knowledge a business's owner and workers have regarding their industry, their workplace and facilities, and work practices.
WorkSafe advise businesses need to be aware of what consultant costs are involved and what they can expect to receive for that money.
Health and Safety Association of NZ (HASANZ) – a national umbrella organisation representing all workplace health and safety professions - has developed a brief checklist of questions to ask an H&S consultant, to help businesses choose a qualified and competent adviser:
- Which professional association do you belong to - can you confirm this?
- What qualifications and/or certification do you have?
- What relevant skills and experience do you have for this job?
- Can you give me examples of similar work you have done recently?
- Are you happy for us to contact your clients about your work for them?
WorkSafe is currently working on creating a register of health and safety consultants. You can also find health and safety advice, resources and templates on WorkSafe's website.
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us - we will be happy to assist.