The aim of any business or organisation should be to create a high performance safety culture in which there is workforce engagement, and where safety behaviours are always on display. Such a culture requires strong safety leadership and a workforce who is motivated not only to follow safety procedures, but also feel confident in raising safety concerns.
To help businesses create this sort of workplace, a safety consultant can provide valuable input in the form of specialist advice and development of your safety systems, and guide you on how to create more effective safety leadership.
However, if you don’t have a background in workplace safety, or little experience in working with outside consultants, it can be a difficult process to select a safety consultant who understands your business sufficiently well and has the appropriate training or background to meet your organisation’s needs.
In order to assist you in this process, outlined below are some factors you should take into consideration when you are considering hiring a safety consultant.
Testimonials and references are an invaluable resource when you are looking at the relative merits of different safety consultants. An experienced safety consultant will be more than happy to provide the contact details of past and/or current clients who are willing to discuss the quality of their work.
During this process, it is important that you seek testimonials from businesses who are engaged in a similar industry to yours, so that you can understand whether what the consultant has to offer will be relevant to your organisation.
Pictured: Some of the references of Barclay Safety Solutions.
There is no ideal CV when it comes to education and qualifications when you are looking to hire a safety consultant. What you might reasonably expect them to have, will vary depending on the work that they will be doing. For instance, when working closely with a team on behavioral change or leadership development, you may wish to have a consultant who has a degree in psychology. On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone to work directly with your management personnel to provide simple and effective safety solutions you may wish to have someone who has a degree in Occupational Health and Safety management.
However, at the same time you need not be concerned if a prospective consultant does not have all, or indeed any, of these particular qualifications. There is more to being able to provide effective consultancy services than academic qualifications, of greater importance is real world experience and results.
One of the most important elements, when you are seeking to hire a safety consultant, is experience that is relevant to your industry or sector. Look for people who have worked with businesses of a similar size, or who have faced the same sort of safety challenges as you have.
And of course, creating a high-performance safety culture is about more than technical knowledge — it requires a good understanding of people, the ability to communicate, and a willingness to lead by example. When you are weighing up the merits of different consultants, don’t overlook the importance of their ability to engage with your workforce and safety leaders.
Pictured: The profile of John Barclay, the director of Barclay Safety Solutions, who has over 15 years’ experience in safety management, behavioral safety and culture change.
It may not at first glance seem important, but a safety consultant should not only be well versed in the insurance requirements of any PCBU, but should also have the appropriate professional liability and general liability coverage in place themselves. You are well within your rights to ask to see documentation to confirm this, and in fact any experienced safety consultant will expect it.
After considering all of the above, perhaps the most important factor to consider when hiring a safety consultant is how well they will align with your business. When you are discussing your safety issues, do the answers they provide demonstrate an understanding of your organisation and what you are trying to achieve? Do they appear to recognise the specific challenges your industry poses, or the particular safety needs of your workforce?
A skilled and experienced safety consultant will bring to the table knowledge and experience gained from working with a variety of organisations and sectors, but then refine this to provide specific solutions designed to meet your very particular needs. Ultimately, this should be the yardstick by which you measure a potential safety consultant — will they help me to create a high performance safety culture in my workplace?
Barclay Safety Solutions
Are you looking for assistance with safety in your workplace? Here at Barclay Safety Solutions we focus on providing world class safety solutions. We believe every business has the right to access the best information and services so they can genuinely care for their peoples safety, well-being and proactively work towards predicting incidents and ultimately prevent fatalities.
We strive to partner with organisations in achieving safe and profitable businesses.