Providing a safe and healthy workplace that complies with laws and regulations is a top priority for all businesses that want to thrive and prosper in their industries. Health and safety issues that are left unaddressed lead to safety and health hazards, such as severe workplace injuries, decreased productivity, and a ruined company reputation.
Recognizing workplace hazards and investing time and money to create a proactive culture involving employees that engage and embrace safe work practices so they are more productive and satisfied at the worksite. This complex and time-consuming process requires a high level of dedication and professionalism. For this reason, you may consider using a safety professional to help the strict Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSHA) standards.
You can choose to hire a full-time safety employee responsible for creating and introducing safety policy in your organization and assessing all possible health and safety hazards. But, bear in mind that hiring an in-house safety expert can be a costly undertaking. In addition to a full-time salary and benefits, the employer will need to provide a car or mileage reimbursement, and professional training to keep them in sync with new practices and changing regulations.
The other option for ensuring that your business’ safety policy is in compliance with OSHA standards is hiring a safety and health consulting company. This company will act as an independent consultant on workplace safety and health policy. Hiring an independent consultant for health and safety issues may be more beneficial than hiring a full-time safety employee.
This comprehensive guide will present you with all the advantages that independent safety and health consulting companies offer to businesses. Also, it will point out all the important factors you should pay attention to when choosing a reliable safety and health company. But, first, let’s see the positive sides of a well-devised and implemented business safety culture.
What Can Health and Safety Companies Do for You?
These are some of the benefits of hiring the independent health and safety consultant company to help you create, implement, and assess adequate workplace safety and health management systems:
- Protect Employees’ Health and Safety at Work
The passing of the OSHA act in 1970 provided an array of health and safety standards for businesses to comply with to prevent workplace safety incidents and protect workers from severe work-related injuries. You should create a people-oriented safety policy that will comply with the OSHA standards to ensure a safe and hazard-free work environment. Here are some general OSHA safety standards employers should focus on when introducing safety measures:
- Fall Protection ensures the safety of construction workers working on a six or more feet high surface with an unprotected edge.
- Confined Spaces standard protects workers operating in a workplace with more than one confined spaces
- Stairways and Ladders standard requires companies to provide adequate safety training for all workers engaged in climbing stairs and ladders while working
- Fire Protection provides fire extinguisher standards that have to be met to prevent serious workplace incidents
- OSHA safety standards obligate companies to have accident prevention signs and tags always visible on the worksite.
If you create a safety policy following these guidelines, your employees will be safe and protected while performing their daily job. Thus, they will show increased productivity.
- Reduced Sick and Disability Leaves Rate
Safety measures and procedures that focus on employees’ well-being at every stage of the work process will lead to a decreased number of sick and disability leave requests. This will positively affect the company’s finances by reducing costs caused by employees’ absence.
By reducing employees’ absence due to workplace injuries and illnesses, you also avoid the costs of hiring and training their replacements.
- Boosted Productivity and Profits
We cannot emphasize enough the positive impact well-devised and effective workplace safety measures have on workers. When people feel safe and protected, they perform their tasks enthusiastically and with boosted morale. This proactive attitude leads directly to increased productivity and profit.
- Reduced Insurance and Legal Costs
When a safety incident occurs at the workplace, management has to tackle numerous adverse consequences. Apart from the potentially severe injuries and illnesses, there are serious financial losses that every company suffers from due to the safety incident. By providing a professionally devised safety policy, employers avoid paying insurance premiums, as well as covering the costs not included in the insurance policy. These additional costs may consist of sick leaves, production delay costs, equipment repair, or replacement expenses.
- Built-Up Company’s Reputation
Every business depends on their reputation among peers and clients. Creating a work environment that guarantees employees’ safety and protection leads to a low incidence rate, which is an essential feature of a successful company. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has initiated the Voluntary Protection Program that allows companies to create safety policies that will effectively protect workers from workplace safety hazards. These programs are based on workplace risk assessments, health and safety training, and collaboration between employers and employees. Health and safety consultants may be invaluable allies in designing Voluntary Protection Programs that will earn your business a certificate accompanied by a stellar reputation. This effective safety policy will ensure that your company’s safety incident rate stays below the Bureau of Labor average.
Advantages of Hiring Independent Health and Safety Consultants
We have already mentioned some of the financial benefits your company may enjoy if you decide to hire independent health and safety consultants instead of an in-house safety expert. However, there are numerous other benefits of engaging independent consultants to handle your safety policy issues. Here are the positive sides of hiring independent safety consultants.
High-quality health and safety companies provide annual contracts to clients to meet their specific safety needs. This means your company will save more money by engaging these safety experts periodically, rather than paying a monthly salary and other required benefits to full-time employed safety experts. Also, signing a contract with a health and safety company will reduce the overhead costs, and you can get a 100% tax deduction for this business expense. As you can see, independent safety and health consultants will provide high-quality services at one set price, considerably cutting your business labor costs.
Independent Consultants Provide Fresh, Unbiased Outlook on Safety Issues
Numerous senior managers and business owners regard their companies’ safety policies as ideally-organized, flawless systems, and this subjective view can be potentially harmful in the long run. For this reason, the objective outsider assessment of an independent consultant may bring into focus safety issues that have to be tackled so that your company can thrive. Furthermore, they will not be burdened with your safety issues history, and they will not feel obligated to fix reports so the safety and health situation looks better than it actually is.
This objectivity is crucial for solving various issues in small and mid-size family businesses. Here, specific relationship dynamics prevent people from addressing someone’s poor performance or potentially risky behavior.
Independent Health and Safety Consultants Bring Invaluable Experiences
The experience of working with various organizations from the same industry may be one of the major benefits independent safety consultants offer. These health and safety companies work under contracts, and they do not provide services to only one business. This means that once you hire them, they can share experiences and apply effective safety practices observed at other companies they have worked for.
In addition, top safety and health consultant companies invest significant time and effort in learning about new, effective safety management measures. This enables them to provide an updated insight into workplace safety and health tendencies and to offer adequate advice and training to managers and employees.
They are Seasoned, Certified Professionals with Useful Contacts
Independent health and safety consultants are all accredited and certified professionals with years of experience under their belts. This doesn’t have to be the case with full-time safety managers, so that company needs to use its resources to educate and train them adequately. Furthermore, independent safety consultants maintain close cooperation with OSHA officials, and they can help you negotiate fines and other OSHA requirements if the need should arise.
This crucial objectivity and invaluable insight into OSHA standards and requirements will help your company create a reliable safety policy in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. By applying their useful advice and guidance, you will reduce or avoid OSHA safety violations and revisions altogether.
Independent Safety Consultants Will Cut Your Insurance Expenses
Besides OSHA compliance assistance, independent safety consultants can cooperate with your insurance company to provide reduced safety risks. They can also help you reduce insurance costs in case of having to compensate for workplace injuries or illnesses. These consultants will join forces with the insurance company to tackle the EMR issues. Experience Modification Rate is an important number in the business world because it represents the relationship between past injuries cost and the future safety risks in your workplace. A Low EMR number is a favorable indicator for your business that will attract new clients and retain current business.
Independent Health and Safety Consultants Offer a Wide Range of Services
Flexibility is another advantage that Health and Safety consultants offer. You can choose specific services that best suit your situation, and you can use these services as you see fit. Your cooperation may be periodical, or you can hire independent safety consultants to tackle specific safety problems; the choice is yours.
This was a shortlist of the most significant benefits a company can get from hiring an independent health and safety company instead of an in-house safety manager. This does not mean a full-time safety person is not a good idea as many companies with safety staff still use independent consultants. However, this list points out the advantages of engaging objective, professional, and experienced safety experts when needed.
What to Focus On When Choosing a Health and Safety Company
Once you decide to hire an outside health and safety consultant, make sure you do a thorough check of the people you want to hire. Here are some crucial factors that determine whether a health and safety company you intend to hire is a high-quality one.
- A perfect balance of academic qualifications and “real life” experience
Academic qualifications and certificates are essential in this field of business as much as in any other. We have already pointed out how crucial it is for safety consultants to learn and constantly improve the necessary skills for ensuring a safe and healthy workspace. On the other hand, a safety consultant with an array of various degrees and certificates but with little on-site work experience may not be an appropriate fit for your company. High-quality safety consultants base their services on academic knowledge of health and safety topics blended with years of experience in solving various safety issues on the field.
- Professional Organizations and Memberships
This can be a gray area that may confuse many business owners when choosing the right safety consultant. While numerous professional organizations in the workplace health and safety field require relevant credentials from new members, others just want you to pay for your credentials. So, always question credentials until the safety consultant proves their reputation by providing the desired service on the field.
- Indicative Work History
If you aim to hire a safety consultant to tackle specific safety situations in your organization, you should thoroughly research previous similar cases they have handled. You don’t have to focus only on similar situations in your industry because high-quality safety consultants are highly adaptive, and they can apply their skills and knowledge in any business.
Furthermore, make sure the consultant you have chosen to help your business has sufficient experience to assess the safety issues successfully. Can they explain their findings and possible problem solutions in plain language, and do these proposed safety solutions sound feasible and reliable? These are all crucial questions to focus on when searching for a professional safety consultant to provide much-needed advice on the company’s safety policy.
- Previous Clients and References
Do not hesitate to check the health and safety work history. Were they working with reputable and well-established organizations? Feel free to ask for contacts from their previous clients to get some honest impressions and references. Do not rely on a single recommendation. Reputable and highly professional health and safety consultants have clients who have started with specific assignments and have turned into loyal customers over time.
- Are they Problem Solvers?
Do you feel confident that the safety company you have chosen will tackle specific safety issues successfully? Numerous safety experts tend to “guarantee” their clients that they will provide an effective solution to their problems. You should take these promises with reservation. Successful safety and healthy companies realize that open communication with the client leads to finding the right solutions. Therefore, they don’t promise; they listen to clients carefully and then present their guidelines in plain and understandable language. If you feel that the safety consultant treats your safety issue like a specific case that needs special attention, you can be sure that you have chosen wisely. These health and safety consultants will offer relevant advice on how to solve your workplace safety problems.
These are some of the crucial factors that can show you what kind of safety consultant you are dealing with. These are all guidelines you need to follow when searching for reliable and highly professional health and safety companies to provide useful advice on your business’s safety policy.
This comprehensive guide on hiring reliable health and safety companies is for all business owners and managers who need professional help with various safety issues. Hiring independent consultants over in-house safety experts will save you money. However, this is not an essential reason for choosing a safety consultant. These safety professionals provide a fresh outside view of your safety policy, assessing the situation as it is and pointing out some potential risks that you may have overlooked. Furthermore, they will offer safety training that will help employees get used to newly-introduced safety measures. Simply put, they will work with you to create a safe, healthy, and highly-productive environment. This will also contribute to the company’s overall reputation because people like to work with businesses that put workers’ safety and protection first.
If you have any questions or need health and safety services, please send an email to [email protected] or give Larry a call at: 775-843-8318. Safety Associates for Employers, LLC will do our best to meet your needs and provide excellence in compliance, leadership, risk management and training.