Outsourcing Health and safety management to a safety consultant is a growing trend.
A poll of managers and owners of small to medium businesses found that outsourcing to be a preference over self-managing.
The research found that only a minority of businesses currently outsource health and safety management. However, It’s at the top of the list of business processes that are outsourced.
A massive 50% would either consider or are currently outsourcing, health and safety management. By comparison, only one in ten outsource the management of accounting,
The main reasons for outsourcing, cited by respondents, is time-saving and cost-effectiveness.
As a result, they can reduce the burden of ongoing health and safety issues and refocus on core business.
Furthermore, they see outsourcing as a way of managing the ever-present risk of non-compliance.
Compliance A Burden on Business
Many companies are finding it an increasing burden to comply with the health and safety regulations.
They are fully aware that not having a relevant, up to date health and safety system places workers at risk. At the same time, it can result in a massive burden of fines, convictions, and personal stress should an accident occur.
There’s a perception that managing health and safety is better left to “professional” safety consultants. After all, they DO have a better knowledge of the law, and a system’s requirements don’t they? So, it makes sense that outsourcing will better enable a business to comply.
However, there’s a big problem with outsourcing!
An outside safety consultant knows NOTHING about your business!
Many business owners and managers fail to grasp the fact that health and safety law in most countries make the duty of care NON-transferable.
So if the safety consultant misses a vital function or process in a business operation, the liability still rests on the shoulders of the business owner!
Every business is different! Even operations within a specific industry, like farming, have vastly differing day to day operation.
A health and safety system’s design must fit the business’s uniqueness. External safety consultants are seldom familiar with that uniqueness.
Many business owners have found out the hard way that smart health and safety lawyers can easily spot an irrelevant system. These lawyers will exploit that to the full to get the maximum possible payout for their client. That client is more often than not a current or past employee.
“In House” Health and Safety Management
“In House” Health and Safety Management is still best.
No matter what the difficulties are and despite the burden, in house health and safety is more likely to be “Real”. It just needs better management.
There are only three groups of people that know enough about a business to implement a workable health and safety system; The owner, the managers and the workers.
The design of a system should be by ALL THREE of these groups. You’ll risk having an irrelevant system if it’s not.
An irrelevant system is a ticking time bomb!
Don’t be lulled into the false belief that because you’ve hired a safety consultant the business is health and safety compliant.
The comfort will only last until an accident, or near-miss takes the business owner to court.
The main reason that businesses look to outsourcing to a safety consultant is that they see health and safety as a nightmare to manage.
But here’s the problem! OHS Consultants cannot manage the day to day, hour by hour health and safety of an enterprise business either, no matter how much you pay them!
There’s only one way to get health and safety right.
Very few businesses entrust their accounting solely to consultants. Neither do they manage their accounting with handwritten ledger books in filing cabinets. The consequences of an inadequate health and safety system are far more severe than botched accounting.
If the management of health and safety is causing YOU concerns, we invite you to take a look at a much more straightforward and cost-effective solution.
It’s a better way than either outsourcing or using a paper/template-based system.