The risks of keeping everything ‘Health & Safety’ in house

No firm can afford to ignore health and safety. Not only will unsafe working practices land you with a huge fine, but also the effects on your workforce will be less than desirable. The temptation is to assume that because you know your business well, you and your internal team are best placed to keep health and safety assessment in house. But it is this familiarity which can lead to problems, as we’ll find out…



Familiarity can lead to blind spots

Health and safety is about making sure that hazards are spotted, the level of risk they present and the actions that need to be taken to minimise or reduce the risks.

On the face of it, sounds simple. Likewise, as you are in the middle of your business, you assume this is the best position when it comes to health and safety assessments.

Whilst it certainly holds its advantages, this familiarity leads to blind spots. Missing ‘things’ is unintentional on your part which is why a fresh pair of objective eyes brings so much more to the process.

Will you get to really understand the issues?

Let’s illustrate this point with an example – you may have noticed the absenteeism rate starting to slowly increase. The reasons vary from coughs and colds to hurt shoulders, aching backs. Are these a sign of stress in the workplace or are is there something going wrong with how things are being done?

For individual employees as well as company wide, there can be a pattern to absenteeism that is sending a glaring message, if we choose to see it. Asking questions about health and safety in the workplace are ones you need answering honestly – how is stress managed, for example? – but for employees, it can be tough to answer honestly when they fear there could be reprisals further down the line.

Independent health and safety advisors can ‘see’ the patterns and ask the questions that need asking. They anonymise individual answers and collate the information into a company wide picture of what the issues really are, and more importantly, what the solutions could be.

Hiring an expert sends an important message

As a business, you’ll want to retain your pool of talent for as long as possible. People with the right skill set who continue to develop and push your business forward are not easily replaced.

When they feel valued and cared for, they are more likely to stay. When your employees understand that you hold their health and safety in high esteem, they feel a stronger connection to the business. Also this is great for contributing to your business reputation as a first-class employer.

What else could you be focusing on?

There will be many of your businesses activities you outsource, such as an external tax advisor or accountant. Outsourcing allows you to dip into the specialist skill set of another company or individual. Thus hiring independent health and safety advisors means bringing into your business a skill set that is both knowledgeable of health and safety laws and regulations, as well as tapping into their extensive experience.

That means you can get on running your business, focusing on what you do best.

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 and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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