How Robust Is Your Health & Safety Assessment?
31 January 2012
As reported in Health and Safety Practitioner, the number of directors and senior managers prosecuted under section 37 of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA 1974) has risen by 400% in the last five years. This is according to unofficial figures released by the Health and Safety Executive in response to a freedom of information request.
The figures, albeit not validated, show that 43 directors, senior managers and company secretaries were prosecuted under this key legislation in 2010/11 - the highest since 1999/2000. The data also shows that 35 people were convicted, a substantial increase on the five convictions secured in 2005/06.
According to Ai Solutions' partner Altius, rigorous health and safety assessment has never been more important. "It's not enough to undertake a box ticking exercise when you are assessing contractors for health and safety competence," said Gary Plant, Managing Director of Altius. "Clients and main contractors must take a thorough evidence based approach to examining whether there suppliers are fit for purpose for specific projects. This will minimise risk and liability for all parties. In the event of an accident or incident, clients can demonstrate that they used "due diligence" in their contractor selection process and in managing the works, thereby showing that they took all reasonable steps to act responsibly."
He added: "Our entire health and safety assessment is evidence based and clients can select specific assessment criteria to match the level of risk of the specific task they wish contractors to perform."
The Altius Vendor Assessment system has recently won the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) Award for Innovation in Technology and Systems. The service is free to clients and main contractors seeking verified suppliers, and there's a small annual fee for vendors. Altius are accredited by Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) providing its assured vendors with the widest possible recognition of their status under mutual recognition arrangements.
For further information contact Altius Vendor Assessment on 08445 616515, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.altiusva.com