Most of us are aware of the numerous references in UK health and safety legislation and regulations to ‘competence’ and the use of ‘competent persons’. However there is no simple, comprehensive or conclusive definition as to what this means in practical terms.
The HSE has stated “for a person to be competent, they need qualifications, experience, and qualities appropriate to their duties”. However as Ian Harp, OSHCR CMIOSH MIIRSM FRSH AIFireE Operations Director at Metro SRM pointed out.
“Clearly competence is not just about qualifications. At Metro Safety we know that whilst Health and Safety and associated disciplines inevitably demand a combination of appropriate training, it is also our knowledge about the business sectors within which we operate that is important to our clients”.
Why does competence matter?
Appointing a ‘competent person’ to help meet your organisation’s health and safety duties not only satisfies current legislative requirements but can also return a host of other benefits.
The cost of getting health and safety wrong can be high. In addition to the obvious detrimental impacts on life resulting from accident and injury there is also the financial impact of costly litigation and the resulting damage to brand reputation.
Obtaining correct health and safety advice improves the chances of success and helps safeguard against risk, accident and injury, not only giving you peace of mind and reducing the risk of litigation but often lowering the number of remedial actions required at a later date.
Getting it right first time also means less hassle and often results in cost savings in the longer term.
To find out how Metro Safety can help you get it right first time. Download our case study:
"Acting as a Competent Advisor" click the link below.
Metro Safety’s Commitment to Competence
As a group Metro Safety are committed to achieving the highest levels of competence. One of our values is to promote and maintain high ethical, business and professional standards. Speaking about what clients can expect from the company Ian Harp said:
“As a client you can expect our risk assessors to have the ability to identify and quantify existing or potentially hazardous situations, interpret the level of risk and have the ability to identify cost effective and realistic solutions. The ability to communicate effectively to the responsible person on what the best course of action is both from a legal compliance stand point and also what is good business sense is not underestimated. Should any of our risk assessors meet a situation where their personal level of competence is not its strongest they will ensure the matter is referred to another consultant or source of expertise as appropriate.”
Metro Safety currently have over 30 technical consultants nationwide who are able to provide you with high quality advice and support spanning the full scope of disciplines including fire, health and safety, water and asbestos.
A number of our health and safety risk assessors are on the HSE Register of Occupational Safety Consultants, whilst others have the relevant IOSH or alternative professional body qualifications and other sector specific training and skill sets, such as legionella, asbestos surveying, safety training etc.
All our Fire Risk Assessors are either registered with the Institute of Fire Engineers or Institute of Fire Prevention Officers as Life Safety Fire Risk Assessors, or they are awaiting approval of their application. All have long term experience and qualifications, (the majority being former serving Local Authority Fire Safety Officers)
Michael Knight Managing Partner Metro SRM commented:
“Our recruitment process and series of stringent internal appraisals help ensure the level of competence of our staff is maintained. This makes us confident as a business that we can match the level of assessor knowledge and experience to building complexity and offer a suite of ‘competent’ risk assessors and advisors that are commensurate with our client’s needs”.
As an organisation we are members of the Fire Industry Association, Colin Bassnett our Principle Fire Safety Advisor serves on the FIA’s Fire Risk Assessment Council and we are approved by them to carry out fire risk assessments. In addition we are currently finalising BAFE SP205 accreditation for our fire risk assessment processes. We have a strict internal quality control process in place and our consultancy division Metro SRM is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accredited.
We are also committed to developing our clients’ knowledge of fire, health and safety legislation and provide regular CPD events free of charge. Over the last five years we have hosted over 50 free seminars attended by over 1,500 people and have provided CPD to just under an additional 2,000 people online.
So why is Metro Safety so committed to competence?
In a nutshell it's as much in our own interest as it is our clients. As a service led business our people and their skills and knowledge are the bedrock of our business. Making sure we are able to provide the very best in terms of fire, health and safety advice helps foster customer satisfaction and build trusted long term relationships with clients. This in turn protects our brand reputation and has helped us successfully grow our own business over the last 20 years.
We aim to help you succeed by making compliance simple and cost effective and adding value to your business.
Download our case study which demonstrates how Metro Safety can act as your competent advisor.
Find out how Metro Safety can help you manage your fire, health and safety responsibilities.
Please call 0845 058 9999 for a free consultation or submit an enquiry online.
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