Invicta Safety Ltd

Professional Health & Safety Consultants

01233 226477
10 Athol Road,
Ashford, Kent TN23 5BB

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 at least the following capacities:

  • Reg 7(1) requires employers to appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in meeting his legal duties.
  • Reg 7(2) requires the employer to make arrangements for ensuring adequate co-operation between the persons so appointed.
  • Reg 7(3) requires the employer to ensure that the number of persons, the time available to them to undertake their functions and the means at their disposal are all adequate.
  • Reg 7(5) says that a person shall be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable them to properly assist in undertaking the measures required.

The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) that accompanies Regulation 7 gives more detail. Paragraph 46 says 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.

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.

Is there a HSE approved scheme to ensure any consultant I use is competent?

The answer is a definitive yes.

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 who have a status recognised by their professional body,
  • have valid insurance,
  • are up-to-date on the latest standards and developments.

If you think you may need a third party to act as your competent person, please contact our office and one of our friendly advisors will be happy to help and discuss your needs and if our services suit you then give you a quote.

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