Do I Need to Employ a Health and Safety Officer?

Companies are often confused about what is required of them when it comes to providing human resource for Health and Safety.

While small & medium sized enterprises might assign Health and Safety duties in addition to an existing job role – larger organisations may decide to employ dedicated staff to manage this.

As with many of these things, the Health and Safety Executive does not define an exact milestone at which point health and safety must be a dedicated role.

However, it does state:

“As an employer, you must appoint someone competent to help you meet your health and safety duties. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety.”

This could be a member of your own staff or a contracted consultant. When deciding your approach to this issue it is important to review the risks associated with your business and what you require for a health & safety representative.

For example: do they need to be on-site all the time and will they have authority to make changes to the business where its necessary to reduce risk of harm?

The training of other staff should also be considered, with depot managers and those responsible for supervising workers given more comprehensive, and perhaps formal, training.

For more information, see the HSE website:

Competent Person Service

SafetyIf you decide to seek external Safety advice, Assent can provide a competent safety advisor service, under section 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.  Find out more.

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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