Safety Consultants – What is their role?

There are several reasons why people need the services of a safety consultant – also known as OHS consultants, WHS consultants or HSE consultants. Here are the main ones that we come across with our clients:

1. Improve safety culture

These calls often come from senior managers and executives who realise that the safety culture of their organisation is not what it should be. Experienced safety consultants know how to assess culture, provide safety training and safety leadership coaching that will make significant improvements to an organisation’s safety culture.

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2. Compliance with safety rules and regulations

These days the WHS rules and WHS regulations are constantly evolving. The new WHS Act came into existence in 2011 and the WHS regulations was revised in 2017. There are many Codes of Practice and these are updated every few years. Businesses that don’t have full time WHS staff struggle to keep up with the legal requirements of safety regulations. An experienced WHS consultant will know where to look to find the latest safety information and can provide sound advice around safety compliance.

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3. Independent safety investigations

A common request which occurs after a serious safety incident has occurred. Businesses want an independent expert with experience in investigative techniques such as ICAM to get to root cause of the incident and to provide recommendations for safety solutions. Only an experienced WHS consultant can provide this level of objectivity.

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3. WHS Training

Most safety programs will require periodic safety training to be conducted as regular training and instruction is a key part of the OHS legislation. These days, OHS training can be done online as full courses or as ‘micro learning chunks’ or face to face in small workshops. Experienced WHS consultants have ‘walked in the shoes’ of the people they are training and can impart practical knowledge.

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4. WHS Reviews

Many organisations approach BWC Safety because they want a formal safety culture and/or a safety system review. This ‘holds up the mirror’ on gaps in the safety system and provides practical solutions that will improve safety performance. Deep experience and objectivity are required to conduct a thorough safety review and this can only come from an experienced safety consultant.

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5. Risk Assessments

Many businesses have high risk activities as part of their standard work. Some even have unique activities such as skydiving, scuba diving or operating light aircraft. Regardless of the activity, there is a legal requirement that the owners and senior managers understand the risks involved and either eliminate those risks or manage them effectively. An experienced safety consultant will have come across these situations many times and can provide the right guidance.

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6. Upgrade your safety management system

Most safety management systems in Australia were built to an older standard known as AS 4801, which has now become obsolete. In 2017 the new international safety management system ISO 45001 became the standard that is to be adopted in all countries. All larger organisations should now be considering transitioning to the ISO standard. This starts with a gap analysis and will require expert consultants with certification in ISO 45001 safety management systems.

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Company WHS Review

Ensure your organisation isn’t making critical WHS mistakes by getting expert advice before it’s too late.

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“Such a culpable culture can exist only when leadership from the Board down are careless in respect of safety. That cannot be allowed”

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