In addition to a variety of laws and regulations, health and safety is also covered by a range of standards intended to ensure that individuals and organisations have an appropriate level of competence for their particular circumstances. The ubiquitous CSCS card scheme is a quick and simple way for employers in the construction industry to confirm that potential employees have a basic understanding of health and safety. All employers need to provide H&S training to each and every individual to guarantee that they act safely and appropriately.
The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme essentially aims to provide the same type of service to companies who need to hire contractors.
The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS)
The concept of health and safety, and the laws and regulations that relate to it, extend as far up the supply chain as is held to be reasonable. In other words, not only does the contractor have health and safety obligations to their employees, but an organisation that hires contractors has health and safety obligations towards their contractor (and, by extension, to the contractor’s employees).
In this situation, buying organisations really only have two options available to them: option 1 is to undertake all the relevant checks themselves to confirm that potential contractors are in compliance with their obligations under Health and Safety legislation; option 2 is to look for contractors who are members of an accreditation scheme that provides independent substantiation of their level of compliance.
For obvious reasons, many buying organisations prefer option 2 for the simple reason that it makes their lives quicker and easier. In fact, many contractors also prefer option 2 for the exact same reason. They can avoid filling in multiple questionnaires for multiple (potential) clients, each of which may have different standards.
In this context, it’s worth noting that the law generally sets minimum standards, and there is nothing to stop clients from setting higher ones. CHAS provides a straightforward means for contractors and buying organisations to come together in a way that allows both parties to feel confident that they know where they stand with each other.
The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme Consultancy
Before starting on the accreditation process for CHAS, it’s important to understand that CHAS is an accreditation service, rather than an advisory service. They provide general guidance to companies who wish to join their accreditation scheme.
There are, however independent CHAS consultants, such as Business Management Systems, who can steer you through the process.
We shall begin our partnership with your company by undertaking a thorough review of your existing health and safety systems and the documentation that surrounds these. Where necessary, we will be able to rework documentation to ensure that gaps are filled and that it is fully in compliance with both the law and the standards laid down by CHAS. Once this process is complete, we will then take full ownership of the application process, including completing the relevant questionnaires and uploading the necessary documentation.