• Selecting a competent health and safety advisor : Invicta Safety : 19th July 2022

Selecting a competent Health and Safety Advisor


The legal requirements

Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), Regulations 7 and 8. These Regulations require employers to appoint competent persons to assist them in meeting their legal obligations for health, safety and welfare of employees (and anyone else who may be affected by the employer’s activities). They need competent persons in a number of specific capacities.

The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) gives more detail including stating that employers are solely responsible for ensuring staff appointed are competent and are given adequate information and support. It also says that the employer needs to know and understand the work involved, the principles of risk assessment and prevention, and current health & safety standards and legislation. The employer must ensure that anyone they appoint is capable of applying these things to whatever task they are assigned

The health and safety definition of a competent person

Dictionary definition – someone with the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.

HSE - A competent person is someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly.

What is a competent person ?

Put simply, a competent person helps an organisation to comply with health and safety law and take all reasonable steps to keep people from harm.

This will be one or more persons who have the ability to recognise the health and safety risks associated with your organisation and identify sensible and proportionate solutions.

Do I need to appoint a competent person ?

Every organisation must have access to help from one or more competent persons to enable it to meet the requirements of health and safety law.

The requirement to have a competent person(s) to support your organisation applies to all employers, regardless of size or sector. Whether you employ one person or several thousand, whether you’re a low-risk office-based business, a high-risk manufacturing business or a charity, you must appoint at least one suitable individual to take on this role.

Who can take on the role ?

Your competent person(s) must be capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions and have authorisation to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Can I appoint somebody who doesn’t work here ?

Yes. The HSE explains that if you’re not confident in your ability to manage your health and safety responsibilities in-house, or if you are a higher-risk business, you can appoint an external professional as a source of competent health and safety advice.

The journey to competency with The Institute of Occupational Safety & Health

Yes. The HSE explains that if you’re not confident in your ability to manage your health and safety responsibilities in-house, or if you are a higher-risk business, you can appoint an external professional as a source of competent health and safety advice.


HSE Recognised Health and Safety Consultants

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) is a register of consultants who can offer advice to UK businesses to help them manage health and safety risks.

It’s a register of consultants who:
  - are certified professionals with a status recognised by their professional body,
  - have valid insurance,
  - are up-to-date on the latest standards and developments.

Incompetent advice will cost you money

If you use an incompetent consultant it will cost you. Recently a company in Cambridge used an unqualified consultant to carry out risk assessments for their painting works, the consultant failed to identify and recommend control measures on a number of hazards which resulted in staff becoming ill. The result was the company had to pay fines of almost £12,000. The consultant was also fined.

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  • The Importance of a Fire Risk Assessment For Your Business : Invicta Safety : 9th March 2021

Importance of a Fire Risk Assessment

fire fighting

A fire risk assessment for your business is vital: when was the last time you had one conducted ?

Fire safety is incredibly important for a business to keep in mind. In 2018, a fire broke out at a microbrewery which was the direct result of the owners refusing to mitigate potential issues caused by a fire risk assessment. Their failure to comply with the rules meant that the company was fined £120,000, but more concerning the fire represented a direct threat to life.

A fire risk assessment for your business is vital, so let’s talk about their importance and why you need to stay compliant to avoid dangerous situations and to protect yourself from financial punishment.

Is Your Building Safe ?

When was the last time you had a fire safety assessment conducted ?

For most businesses, this check is probably overdue. A regular fire safety assessment is the best way to make sure that you stay safe and protect your workers from harm.

Every business has safety issues which need to be addressed and examined to protect the workers. You have an electrical system which may not be up to date, flammable materials on the premises which are at risk, and a lack of fire awareness training on the part of your staff. It’s a minefield of issues which you, as the business owner, are responsible for.

Assessments and Actions

Knowing what steps to take to prevent fire-related issues from occurring is vital for any business that wants to protect itself and it’s workers.

At Invicta Safety, we provide comprehensive fire safety assessments. These are the types of checks that your business needs. A professional can identify the risks and issues which might be present and then make suggestions as to what actions businesses can take to prevent these issues from becoming more widespread as time goes on.

However, it is vital that the business itself takes immediate action to prevent this from happening. It is the responsibility of any business owner to have a professional assessment conducted of their premises, and then to make sure that they act on the issues raised by the experts. If something isn’t right, then you need to make sure that you are dealing with it. The microbrewery which received the fine is a cautionary tale of what can happen. Local fire and rescue services will not hesitate to submit fines to businesses for a refusal to cooperate with fire safety rules.

Final Thoughts

So, to wrap this up, even if you think you’re being compliant with fire and safety regulations, it is important to make sure you stay up to code. It is the first, best, and quickest way to protect yourself and the premises from fire-related damages. You have a responsibility to the people you hire and to make sure that you protect your local community at the same time. This can be a challenge but it is your responsibility as a business to get it right. Don't hesitate to speak with a professional if you're not sure whether or not your business is up to spec.

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  • Level 1 Health And Safety In A Construction Environment Course : Invicta Safety : 7th July 2020

Acquire CSCS Green Card


With Our New Level 1 Health And Safety In A Construction Environment Course

Health and safety on a construction site is a real concern of many employers and contractors. Adequate training and knowledge is one of the best ways to improve health and safety. What’s more, it is vital for employees and contractors looking to obtain a CSCS Green Card for working on construction sites.

At Invicta Safety, we know how important it is for construction companies to ensure their team receive full training for site compliance. With our online Level 1 Health and Safety In A Construction Environment eLearning, we help your construction workers to learn the necessary health and safety skills required. This eLearning will not only keep construction workers safe on-site but will help them with the CSCS Green Card application too.

As this is an eLearning course, your employees don’t need to travel to attend expensive courses. They can learn from your office or at home at a much more cost-effective price. Furthermore, with training available immediately, your construction workers can learn at a pace to suit them while minimising disruption to your business.

How To Ensure Your Team Are Properly Trained In Construction Health And Safety

Here at Invicta Safety, we offer individuals an interesting, engaging and effective course that provides an introduction of health and safety in a construction environment. Our Level 1 Health And Safety In A Construction Environment course is perfect for those just starting out in the construction industry and covers all the fundamental aspects of health and safety.

Over the 120 minute course, participants will learn how to work safely on a construction site and what they can do to keep their team safe as well. Because the course has been specifically tailored to the construction industry, you know that everything being taught is relevant for keeping everyone on-site safe. Not only will the fundamental methods for health and safety be taught, but also the importance of health and safety in the workplace.

At the end of the course, workers can take the accredited exam, which will result in a recognised qualification. This qualification forms part of the application for a CSCS Green Card and everything you need to know about obtaining the card is covered in the course. For construction employers, this Level 1 course is perfect for ensuring all team members have the knowledge and skills to work safely on site.

Why Study Our Construction Health And Safety Course?

As an employer, making sure all your staff have relevant training and valid CSCS green cards will show contractors that your whole team has a standard for appropriate training. As a worker, obtaining a CSCS card shows employers that you are able to do the job at hand safely. Some other benefits of completing our Level 1 Health And Safety In A Construction Environment include;

  • Requirements: A large number of significant housebuilders and principal contractors will require all workers that operate at their sites to have a valid CSCS card and have undergone training. If you or your staff don’t have these, it could mean losing out on some major contracts.
  • Documentation: When you have a CSCS Green Card, there is no need to show other documentation for relevant construction qualifications. This card will mean that other construction workers and contractors know you are a competent contractor and fully understand the health and safety guidelines.
  • A Safe Environment: When everyone in a team is appropriately trained and qualified in health and safety, then they will all operate in a safer way. Health and safety on a construction site is vital, and our Level 1 course is a great way to improve that.

Try Our Health and Safety In A Construction Environment Course Today

Our eLearning course allows participants to study flexibly, at their own pace and in their own time. This is ideal for workers and employers as students can complete this course remotely. If you’re looking for a faster, flexible and cost-effective way to train your team, then you can view our course here and even enjoy a free trial, to ensure it’s the right course for your organisation.

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  • The Importance Of Health And Safety To SMEs : Invicta Safety : 27th March 2020

The Importance Of Health And Safety To SMEs

Word play

Five Reasons Why Health And Safety Is Vital To SMEs

Workplace accidents can, unfortunately, happen across every industry and in every organisation. Last year, work-related illness and injury cost UK businesses over £15 billion with 28.3 million working days lost to work-related ill-health.

For small businesses, the cost of health and safety incidents can severely impact the success, profit and resources of the organisation. However, 39% of SMEs say that health and safety ‘just feels like paperwork’.

So, how can SMEs realise the benefits and importance of health and safety within their organisation?

The Five Reasons

1. Procurement Value
Health and Safety schemes and standards can be essential for SMEs looking to secure significant contracts with larger firms. Many large-scale corporations will have a stringent list of requirements for their suppliers. This can include sharing your policies and risk assessments, having an appointed Competent Person or completing specific health and safety training. Without showing clients a commitment to health and safety, they may be reluctant to award contacts.

2. Return On Investment
Many businesses fail to see the benefit of health and safety because it can be difficult to measure the return on investment. However, studies show that some occupational health measures can deliver an ROI of £12 for every £1 spent. This could be from giving staff the training they need to stay safe at work, to remedial action on anything that has been highlighted in a risk assessment.

3. Legal Requirement
It is a legal requirement for every business to have a health and safety policy. Organisations with five or more employees need to have a written policy. Even for organisations with fewer than five employees, having a documented plan offers benefits as it can allow staff, contractors, clients and other interested parties to refer to your policy when they need to. You don’t have to have a qualified QHSE in-house to complete this for you. It is often useful to use a health and safety consultant as they will be a fresh pair of eyes looking at your current systems in place.

As well as a policy, other legal requirements, as per the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 include;

  • Providing training and information to workers
  • Conducting risk assessments
  • Appointing a competent person to oversee workplace safety
4. Staff Welfare and Wellbeing
Focussing on the health and safety of staff members can boost employee morale, increase productivity levels and enhance loyalty to the organisation. Furthermore, studies suggest that 61% of employees work harder for employers that invest in their health.

By investing and caring about health and safety, SMEs can benefit from a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.

5. Safer Workplaces
No business wants to see any member of staff suffer from injury and illness. Consequently, failing to protect employees sufficiently can lead to workers off sick, legal cases and fines. By promoting a safer workplace, staff benefit from a safe place to work while business operations can run efficiently. Furthermore, it can also lower insurance costs too.

So, with so many benefits to prioritising health and safety, small businesses can enjoy a safer, profitable and happier organisation, putting them on the right path to success.

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