A Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) consultant can be a very helpful asset to any company. WHS consultants work on health and safety standards in any kind of workplace, improving the overall health and safety of the organisation from top to bottom.
With the increasing diversity and competition among industries, companies need to use every single edge they can find. One of the ways to do it is to improve health and safety practices in the workplace. This article will show you why there’s a need for the assistance of a WHS consultant in your business.
What Is a WHS Consultant?
WHS consultants are professionals that are specially trained on the matter of health and safety in the workplace. With their experience and expertise, they can provide expert advice on how companies can improve the overall health and safety in the workplace.
From adding extra equipment within the facilities to training employees of proper safety practices, a WHS consultant can perform multiple roles to accomplish this goal. Since each workplace is different, they usually create customised plans for every client to help them accomplish their goals.
Here is a short list of some of the abilities and responsibilities of a WHS consultant.
Make leaders aware of health and safety standards
Most leaders and key personnel in companies are either unaware of workplace health and safety regulations or they are too busy with their respective roles that they end up overlooking them. One of the important roles of WHS consultants is to educate those in the workplace of all relevant laws regarding health and safety. This is especially so with its leaders, as they are the ones who can create policies that can potentially benefit everyone. With education and better awareness, positive change can happen and workplace accidents can be prevented.
Inspect workplaces for possible health and safety issues
Another important role of WHS consultants is to identify possible health and safety issues in the workplace. They do a thorough inspection of workplaces to identify potential safety issues. Even a facility that looks perfectly safe to the untrained eye may hide issues that can cause injury or illness. From lack of awareness of emergency exits to floorings that are too slippery, a WHS consultant can pinpoint deficiencies in facilities, equipment, and information in hopes of getting them resolved.
Provide recommendations on how to solve these problems
Beyond pointing out problems, a WHS consultant also provides solutions on how these health and safety issues can be potentially resolved. They are specially trained in providing solutions in improving health and safety, not just in workplaces, but also in other facilities. Solutions they can provide can be as simple as improving access and availability of safety exits to reconstructing potentially hazardous spots in working areas. A WHS consultant can lay out a plan for improving the overall safety profile of a workplace.
The Benefits of Hiring a WHS Consultant
A lot of people do not see the importance of workplace health and safety until something unfortunate happens. The effect of such incidents cannot be minimised; there are companies that sustained massive losses because they overlooked health and safety protocols. Here is a simplified list of some of the benefits of hiring a WHS consultant:
Creates a safe working environment
The primary reason why these consultation services are there to begin with is to improve the overall safety profile of workplaces everywhere. Working with a health and safety consultant helps in creating working environments that are safe. Regardless of what industry you are in, putting emphasis on safety will benefit everyone. With a healthy and safe working environment, workplace accidents become less common and attendance rates among employees become higher.
Improves employee and client confidence
One of the many ways to improve morale of workers in any industry is to provide facilities where they can work comfortably and with confidence. You are able to get the best out of your employees when they feel safe in their working environment. It is also a way to build trust with your employees. As for your clients, they will feel safe to transact with you if they know all relevant safety standards are being met by your company. Also, it’s one way to show them that your company is willing to go the extra mile to provide the best service.
Improves workplace functions
There are many ways to maximise the potential of your company. A means of doing this is to provide the best working facilities possible. With the help of a consultant, you can improve the overall safety profile of your workplace. This can in turn enhance the overall well-being of your workers, which increases productivity and reduces missed days due to injury or illness. Also, it reduces the risk of accidents and calamities, and minimises possible damages to life should they happen. Lastly, it teaches everyone in the company about healthy and safe practices in the workplace, reducing the risk of potential casualties.
Prevents potential issues due to health and safety problems
Health and safety issues can be quite problematic to handle. If these issues actually caused harm to either employees or clients, it can be quite costly. It can cause significant financial damage to small- and medium-sized companies, and it can cause a backlash to larger ones. Either way, the damage such incidents may cause could weaken or even destroy companies. To prevent such issues, it’s best to be proactive and invest on proper health and safety guidelines. This is where a WHS consultant can help.
Improves company profile
There are also some intangible benefits of improving health and safety practices with the help of a WHS consultant. Investing on safety can have a positive impact on your business’s image, both inside and outside the company. On the inside, it’s one way to show that you are serious about providing the best working environment for your team. On the outside, people will see that you are serious about delivering the best service possible. Hiring a WHS consultant can benefit your business beyond boosting workplace health and safety.
It is the ethical thing to do
Business ethics will tell you that you need to take care of members of your company like they are your family. Also, these same ethics will tell you that you need to take good care of your customers. When thinking of getting the help of a WHS consultant, you are doing what is considered good business practice. Providing the needs of your employees and not sparing any cost to get it done is a very sensible thing to do. It will also help spare you from potential legal issues as you did due diligence.
Picking the Right WHS Consultant
Given the potentially important role that they would play for your company, it is crucial that you get the best possible health and safety consultant/s for your workplace. So, how can you know if you are working with the right consultant? Here are some things you should check out:
Check their competencies
Because of the strong implications associated with this line of work, it is vital that you get a WHS consultant that has all the necessary competencies. Some of these consultants also specialise in specific elements of health and safety. It is key that you pick a consultant that has the technical know-how needed to identify possible workplace issues and deliver solutions for them.
They should be people-oriented
More than having the technical know-how, an effective WHS consultant should have all the necessary people skills. They must be able to communicate with a wide range of people, be able to relate to them, and communicate effectively the message they want to send across. The more passionate the consultant is on sharing the nuances of workplace health and safety, the better their chances of eliciting positive change within the workplace, if not of the organisation itself. Simply put, a great WHS consultant works with the people.
They should be able to mobilise people
More than being able to communicate well, an effective WHS consultant should be capable of mobilising people towards action. There are many steps to doing this. They should be able to communicate well the goals of health and safety improvement. They should likewise be able to delegate tasks and explain the responsibilities of workers from top to bottom. Lastly, consultants have to be able to sustain the momentum and drive of an entire workplace to achieve long-term change.
The job of a workplace health and safety consultant is not easy. It is comprehensive, involves multiple steps, and requires working with a diverse set of people. Given this, you need to get the right WHS consultant to get the most benefits. If you want to hire the best WHS consultants in Australia, check out WHS Matters. Our experts are qualified and ready to serve you. Call us now to find out how WHS Matters can help your facility improve its health and safety profile.