Basics for Business:

As an employer, it is your legal duty to appoint a competent person under health and safety law.

Appointing a Competent Person

What does this mean?

As an employer, it is your legal duty to appoint a competent person under health and safety law. 

This person could be yourself, an employee, or someone from outside your business (i.e. a qualified Health & Safety Consultant). This person must have the skills, knowledge, and experience to recognise potential hazards in your business and help you put processes in place to protect employees and others from harm.

What do they need to do?

  • The first step is to develop a Health & Safety policy. By law, every business must have one in place.
  • Conduct risk assessments. The minimum you must do is:
  1. identify potential hazards in your business
  2. decide how likely and how serious the risk is
  3. take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk
  • Next, consult your workers by talking and listening to them about health and safety with regards to the work they do, how risks are controlled, and the best ways of providing information and training. This should be a two-way process, allowing them to raise concerns and influence decisions on managing health and safety.
  • Provide safety information and training. Clear instructions, information and adequate training must be provided to everyone who works for you on how to work safely and without risk to their health.
  • Ensure the right workplace facilities are provided for everyone in your workplace. You must consider welfare facilities such as places to rest and eat, drinking water and toilet facilities, as well as health and safety issues such as good ventilation, lighting, and clear traffic routes.
  • Develop emergency procedures. First aid arrangements must be in place and certain injuries, incidents and cases of work-related disease must be reported and recorded.
  • If you employ anyone, you must display the health and safety law poster, or provide each worker with a copy of the equivalent pocket card.
  • Get insured. If your business has employees, you will most likely need employers’ liability insurance.

How can I help you?

As an employer, managing health and safety is your legal duty. However, you may feel that your business doesn’t have the bandwidth to manage health and safety in-house or that it’s simply too large, complex, or high risk. If this is the case, I can help. 

I am fully qualified, and on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register approved by the HSE.

Message me to discuss what I can do to help you fulfil the role of Competent Person.