What is the function of a health and safety consultant?
Health and Safety Consultants assist the client with the implementation and maintenance of a documented health and safety management system .
The consultant is appointed as a consultant and do not relieve the employer of any statutory requirements or duties as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and all other applicable legislation.
A consultant (from Latin: consultare “to deliberate”) is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area such as security (electronic or physical), management, education, accountancy, law, human resources, marketing (and public relations), finance, health care, engineering, science or any of many other specialized fields.
In terms of the OHS Act under section 37 , a consultant is a contractor or mandatary and will need to comply with the requirements of the law.
Health and Safety Consultants must be experts in the OHS field with extensive experience in various industries e.g:
It is advisable to screen your health and safety consultant before you appoint him/ her. Things to look for is :
- Qualifications– the person must have a qualification in occupational health and safety from a recognised and accredited training provider. Make sure the consultant is competent and experienced in your field or industry.
- Company Registrations-the consultant must have a registered company with a registration from CIPC. Also check if the consultant is registered for tax and if he / she is in good standing. The consultant company must provide proof of COID registration , and must have a valid LOGS .
- Statutory Registrations – the consultant must be registered and in good standing with SACPCMP if you are in the construction industry. Make sure the consultant is registered at the appropriate level based on your scope of work, the risk profile and appointment. Developers and clients must employ a registered Pr.Construction Health and Safety Agent or Manager . A principal Contractor must employ a Pr. Construction Health and Safety Manager / Officer .
- Insurance– the consultant must have professional indemnity insurance as well as public liability insurance
When you employ a consultant to draft a safety file for a project, the consultant must be appointed as the CR8.5 safety officer ( where required ), this means the health and safety consultant must visit the site , conduct site inspections and do reports . A consultant cannot be appointed in a safety file if the client/ contractor does not intend to employ the consultant to do the site visits/ inspections and other services as agreed upon by both parties .