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Health and safety may be the subject of many myths, but it needs to be taken very seriously. The law is possibly the most obvious one, because nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a workplace accident fine or claim. Reputation management is another important reason to take health and safety seriously, because companies live and die by their reputations: whether it’s having good relationships with partner organisations or attracting the right staff, having a stellar health and safety record is vital.
A third reason to take health and safety seriously is client satisfaction. In today’s world, where it is so easy for social media to turn a company name into a trending topic, businesses are becoming very aware of their need to be able to show that they have acted reasonably and responsibly in every decision they take. Any health and safety issues with the contractors a business uses have the potential to reflect badly on the end customer’s decision-making process.
The SafeContractor Scheme
The SafeContractor scheme was developed to address these three issues. All companies are required to have an understanding of the relevant health and safety laws and to implement them in practice.
Of course, in the real world there is a difference between sincerely believing that you understand what a law means in both theory and practice and actually doing so.
This is where auditors come in.
Used properly, auditors are essentially a fresh pair of eyes, who can check that you actually are doing what you ought to be doing. Accreditation schemes such as the SafeContractor scheme take this to a new level by essentially providing independent, reputable and verifiable confirmation that members are acting in accordance with all relevant standards. This is beneficial for both contractors and their customers as it eliminates the need for the former to complete numerous questionnaires to satisfy the latter.
It may also help contractors to win customers, since one of the golden rules of winning business is to make it easy for a customer to buy from you. Reducing their workload, by showing upfront, that you are fully aware of your responsibilities with regard to health and safety can help to remove one obstacle to the negotiation of a contract.
There are clear benefits to becoming a member of the SafeContractor scheme, and the accreditation process needs to be taken seriously. Far from just a formality, receiving accreditation from schemes like the SafeContractor scheme requires work and commitment; prospective members can and will be declined until they can demonstrate clearly that they meet the criteria for membership.
Using a SafeContractor consultant can help to maximise your chances of passing the audit first time.
As a SafeContractor consultant, we will go through your existing documentation and ensure that any leaks are plugged (you may be doing the right thing, but you need to show that you are doing the right thing). If necessary, we will create or help to create any missing documentation, in line with all relevant legislation.
Once everything is in place, we will ensure that the accreditation questionnaire is completed both fully and accurately and that the SafeContractor scheme is supplied with all necessary documentation.