Competent Person Role
You may not be aware that Health and Safety law requires every employer to formally appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions including the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations?
Unfortunately, the guidance given on what makes a “Competent Person” is a little vague, as it is stated that a person shall be regarded as ‘competent’ if they have sufficient training, experience or knowledge and ‘other qualities’!
The requirement to have a Competent Person(s) to support your organisation applies to every single employer. It doesn’t matter if you employ one person or several thousand, or whether you’re a small retailer or a multinational construction company. There are no exceptions.
This means that as an employer, you are required to comply with all relevant health and safety legislation, and is a responsibility which cannot be delegated or passed on to anyone else. The purpose of the Competent Person or persons (as there can be more than one if the business is complex or specialist) is to use their knowledge, understanding, and expertise to assist you the employer with complying with those rules and regulations.
You may have someone in-house that is capable of undertaking this role for you, but at the very least you should ascertain the following
Has that person or persons received adequate training at an acceptable standard for the role being undertaken, for example, an Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) accredited course?
Does that person or persons have sufficient practical knowledge not only of your business but of general health and safety principles and legislative requirements which may affect your business and undertakings? Simply attending a theory course would not be sufficient.
Do they have the necessary experience and skillsets to develop and implement solutions to problems?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concurs that if you are not confident of your ability to manage all health and safety in-house, or if you are a higher-risk business, you may need some external help or advice.
At Crown PSM all our consultants can fulfil the “Competent Person” role either autonomously or working with your in house competent person who may need some guidance and support in specific areas.
If you would like to arrange for a free initial visit to discuss your specific requirements or simply want an independent review to ensure your in house person(s) meets the legislative requirements to act as Competent Person for your business please get in touch.
If you would like to arrange for a free initial visit to discuss your specific requirements, you can either call us on 0114 4381707 or if out of hours you can simply make an enquiry by clicking below.