Interwoven through every company large and small, health and safety is the mechanism by which all employees, contractors and members of the public are kept safe. Continually shifting, hazards and their associated level of risk are measured via the means of a risk assessment.
A risk assessment must be detailed and comprehensive, relating specifically to your organisation and the unique set of activities that occur, and the people who do them. An easy assumption is that the people or person best placed to carry out the risk assessment is someone internal to your organisation.
But this isn’t always the case…
The larger an organisation, the more time it will take to complete a thorough, all-encompassing risk assessment. It can take days, sometimes weeks, to include everything.
And that means ‘freeing’ someone or a team of people from their normal duties to complete this project. Therein lies a double-jeopardy – it becomes a ‘project’ with a definite start and finish but risk assessment is an ongoing process. Secondly, when time is precious, as it is in most large businesses, the temptation is that it lasts ‘too long’, with other work commitments becoming increasingly pressing, it is a project that never really gets full attention.
It takes a lot of effort to complete a risk assessment internally. No amount of encouraging emails with deadlines highlighted in bold for documents and questionnaires to be returned will galvanise everyone into action at once.
Expertise and experience
What hazards are you looking for? What risk do they really present? Health and safety is ‘easy’ say some as it is nothing more complicated than “common sense”. But what you see as a hazard with a high risk may not be seen in the same way by someone else and vice versa. Thus, “common sense” is too objective a measuring stick to use.
There is a level of expertise, experience and knowledge needed to carry out a thorough risk assessment, reason enough to take the plunge and outsource it to an independent consultancy.
Taken more seriously
Health and safety is not everyone’s favourite subject. Met with a certain level of derision, it can be seen by many as something that must be done with very little impact. There is still a huge amount of misunderstanding around modern-day health and safety.
Yet it is essential. It is the ‘thing’ that keeps workers safe from illness, injury and death. With a third party carrying out the risk assessment, the office politics and the poor attitudes towards health and safety are pushed to the side. There is a more robust element when you outsource risk assessment because as you are the client, the consultant has a set of tasks it must complete – and no office politics will stand in the way.
Too close, miss the detail
Finally, an independent risk assessment will see all the detail. Sometimes, being a part of a large organisation means you miss the detail because it is in plain sight, or because something has always been done that way, it is ‘safe’.
Outsourcing risk assessments for your company is not an expense, not when you consider the return on investment it brings in terms of benefits and efficiencies.
How can we help you?
If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of Health and Safety management, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions or are looking for advice and support to maintain standards, call 01484 666160 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.