An occupational health and safety specialist is one of the main reasons why your employees return home to their families safely. A good health and safety specialist knows that and therefore does his work with heart. Every company should find such a person. There are several ways to get a health and safety specialist: hire, appoint one of your employees or outsource. Neither of them is completely bad or good, but rather depends on the specifics of your company. Choices may also vary from country to country, as some countries require a full-time health and safety specialist from a certain number of employees.
In the following, we will review in which case which solution might be the most suitable.
Health and safety outsourcing
Outsourcing health and safety service is generally cheaper than hiring a separate employee, but it must also be taken into account that in such a case the occupational health and safety specialist is not present in the work environment on a daily basis. But is it necessary? This could be necessary if you have more than 100 employees (but this number is certainly not absolute) and you are operating in a hazardous field (manufacturing, construction, chemicals, etc.). These two determinants require constant monitoring of the situation and dealing with employees, and therefore the service provider may be not enough. It all depends, of course, on the agreement you make with the outsourcing health and safety management provider.
A clear advantage for the outsourcing health and safety management provider could be that he is likely to be an expert and has more knowledge and knowledge of different practices in this area. However, here it is important to make sure of this before concluding a service contract and, for example, to connect with previous customers and study the experience.
Hire a separate occupational health and safety specialist
Hiring a separate occupational health and safety specialist should definitely be considered if you are already a larger company with more than 300 employees (the number is not absolute) and if you want to maintain a high culture of occupational health and safety. In this case, his working days are full with managing and maintaining health and safety processes and his presence is reasonable in every way. Probably there is even a need for delegation.
People in the occupational health and safety profession most probably have the appropriate training and experience in this field to successfully manage occupational health and safety processes.
But here, too, it is important to make sure, for example, from previous employers, how much the work environment specialist knew and dared to manage the processes related to the work environment and how much he or she expected to be directed.
Appoint an occupational health and safety specialist among your current employees
Appointing an occupational health and safety specialist among your employees is definitely one of the surest solutions, because you already know who the person is and who already knows the organization and its processes. Perhaps the downside, of course, is that the person is already in a comfort zone and not trying new approaches, because “we already know it won’t work anyway”.
Traditionally, a health and safety specialist within a company also holds another position or other job. Therefore, it is important to monitor whether this person has time to perform the duties of a health and safety specialist, because, unfortunately, the issues of occupational health and safety are the first to be stopped when time is short.
None of the three options is a completely good or bad choice, but rather the question is what the company needs and wants to achieve in occupational health and safety. However, it should be remembered that the main task of a work environment specialist is not to be a document manager, but the main purpose is to deal with prevention. That is why we have made VITS a tool that helps work environment specialists to better organize their daily work.