Consulting

We have various health and safety consulting packages, which ranges from consulting clients on a fixed hourly rate, or packages designed to cater for specific industries, e.g. Office and Construction. There is also an option to compile a custom made package for your Company. CONSULTING PACKAGE FOR OFFICE ENVIRONMENT: Once off fee, which will include:

  • Evaluation of your current health and safety system.
  • Implementation of a custom Health and Safety system for your Company, or adapting your current file to bring it in line with health and safety legislation.
  • All legal appointment letters (in electronic format).
  • All legal registers e.g. first aid register, fire equipment register, etc. (electronic format)
  • One Regulation 3 first aid kit, including signage.
  • Health and Safety Induction training for a group of up to 20 students – each student will receive a certificate of attendance.

Monthly subscription fee, which will include:

  • Assistance with setting up a health and safety committee (if not yet established)
  • A health and safety consultant will attend monthly/quarterly health and safety committee meetings in an advisory capacity.
  • Unlimited e-mail support, regarding health and safety related issues for the duration of the agreement.
  • A health and safety consultant will review the effectiveness of safety measures, or alternatively adapt ineffective measures.

CONSULTING PACKAGE FOR CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: Once off fee, which will include:

  • Evaluation of your current health and safety system.
  • Compiling of one site specific safety file (or updating your current file).
  • Drawing up a safety plan for your Company.
  • Drawing up a fall arrest plan for one site (if applicable).
  • Baseline Risk Assessment – This is the initial assessment of risk in a workplace. It is a broad assessment and includes all activities taking place on site.
  • Health and Safety File (both in electronic and hard copy), containing all legal appointments.
  • All legal registers e.g. first aid register, fire equipment register, etc.
  • One Regulation 3 first aid kit, including signage.
  • Health and Safety Induction training for a group of up to 20 students – each student will receive a certificate of attendance.

Monthly subscription fee, which will include:

  • A health and safety consultant will assist you onsite once every second week.
  • A health and safety consultant will attend safety meetings in an advisory capacity, once every second week.
  • Unlimited e-mail support, regarding health and safety related issues for the duration of the agreement.
  • Attending site meetings with the Client once a month (if applicable).
  • Assistance with any enquiries from the Client or Department of Labour.

Health & Safety Files

More about the health and safety file:

The health and safety file is defined as a file appropriate to the characteristics of the project, containing relevant health and safety information to be taken into account during any subsequent project. The Construction Regulations defines it as follows – “health and safety file” means a file, or other record containing the information in writing required by these Regulations;” Who must have a safety file? Every contractor, principal, big or small must have a completed safety file for the construction site that they are working on. So, even if you make use of subcontractors, you must have a site specific safety file. The subcontractors must have their own safety files. The subcontractor’s employees are not your employees. Subcontractor are entities on their own. They are neither covered by your Workman’s Compensation or your Public Liability Insurance. In Construction Regulation 7 (1)(b) it stipulates that a principal contractor and contractor must – “open and keep on site a health and safety file, which must include all documentation required in terms of the Act and these Regulations, which must be made available on request to an inspector, the client, the client’s agent or a contractor; …” Who can compile the safety file? Although not a requirement, we strongly recommend that a person who has prior knowledge and skills in terms of Health and Safety within your organizational structure be used to compile the safety file. We have competent health and safety consultants who compile safety files on a regular basis at affordable rates. If, however you decide to compile the file yourself, we recommend that you send the employee tasked with this responsibility for the “Compiling of a Safety File” course that we offer (accredited by SAIOSH). There is an immense misconception in the industry that anyone can compile a safety file if they buy the generic template. The truth is that, if you do not have insight in what is required by the Client, you will struggle. We often have to help safety officers who bought a generic template, but fail to understand the specifications of the Client/Contractor.

Risk Assessments

What is a risk assessment?

As part of managing the health and safety of your business every employer must, by law, control the risks in his workplace, which might affect the safety and health of people working on the premises. Most incidents in the workplace happen because of insufficient management controls. One way of ensuring your company identifies hazards and assesses risks, is to do a complete and proper risk assessment of your workplace. By identifying the risks, you’ll be able to take preventative and precautionary measures to minimise or prevent any harm to your employees. When thinking about your risk assessment, remember:

  • a hazard is anything that may cause harm, such as electricity, chemicals not stored properly , working at heights, e.g. ladders, etc.
  • the risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by these and other hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.

Why do a risk assessment?

It is a legal requirement. As an employer, you are required to comply with the following laws:

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA Act 85 of 1993). Both the employer and the employee are responsible for health and safety aspects in the workplace. The core of the Act is the identification of hazards and risks related to tasks performed in the workplace. The Act requires risk management action be taken to prevent injury in the workplace, as well as loss of health status, due to exposure.
  • Construction Regulations, 2014 (9) (1). Before commencement of any construction work during the construction period, the Contractor shall have a risk assessment performed and recorded in writing by a competent person.
  • Hazardous Chemical Substance Regulation (Section 5, OHSA). Employers must assess the workplace to identify potential exposure to chemical substances. The regulation has detailed requirements in terms of exposure levels, medical surveillance and education of employees exposed to chemical substances in the workplace.
  • Major Hazard Installation Regulation (Section 5, OHSA). A risk assessment must be done to identify the probable frequency, magnitude and nature of any major incident that could occur at a major hazard installation.
  • National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998, Section 28). You must assess and evaluate the impact your business has on the environment. This implies that an environmental aspect and impact assessment needs to be done. Principles very similar to those implemented with hazard identification and risk assessment will be implemented when the impact assessment is done.
  • Mine Health and Safety Act (Act 29 of 1996). As far as reasonably practicable, every employer must provide and maintain a safe working environment that is without risk to the health of the employees. Every employer must identify the relevant risks to which people who are not employees may be exposed.
  • Environmental legislation. To ensure compliance with environmental legislation like the Environment Conservation Act, Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, National Water Act, and requirements for the purification of wastewater or sewage, risk or impact assessments must be done first.
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act. You must identify risks posed to employees in the workplace.
  • The King II Report. The King II Report deals with management’s responsibility to identify business risks and put management actions in place. Board level decisions often affect employee safety. The King Report holds the board responsible any decisions it makes. Management is accountable to the board for designing, implementing and monitoring the process of risk management and integrating it into the day-to-day activities of the company. As part of the responsibilities, internal audits need to be done. These audits must provide assurance that the management processes are adequate to identify and monitor significant risks. The King II Report can be used as a guideline, but it is enforced for listed companies.

Who can do a risk assessment?

There are two ways to conduct a risk assessment. The first method is to train an employee to become your risk assessor. The second method is to appoint an external risk assessor to conduct safety audits. Internal risk assessor Should you opt for the first method, we can train one of your employees in doing a risk assessment. The employee will receive an accredited certificate, recognised by SAIOSH, who is the body recognised by SAQA for health and safety in the industry. The benefit of having an internal risk assessor, is mostly because it is more cost effective. The downside is unfortunately that, when the trained employee resigns, you will have to train a new staff member, which might end up costing you more in the long run. We recommend that, when you send an employee for this training, ensure that it is a fulltime, loyal staff member, who has the capabilities to perform this duty. We have had many instances where trained staff members leave the Company to pursue other jobs, because of their newly acquired skill. Benefits of using an external risk assessor: External risk assessors are normally health and safety consultants who have experience in conducting risk assessments within various industries. External risk assessors or Health and safety consultants know what the Department Of Labour expects from the risk assessment report, because they have access to regular updates from Department Of Labour and other industry professionals. If the risk assessment is not conducted by an experienced risk assessor, there could be a higher chance that your risk assessment lacks certain information or your safety file is rejected by the Safety Officer/Safety Consultant in charge of a project (if you work on a Construction site). The person doing the internal risk assessment might be experienced to do the risk assessment, but often lack skills in report writing. We have all necessary documentation and have the advantage of high-end electronic health and safety systems written by in-house developers (DigiSoft).

Safety Audits

 

Why do an audit?

The HSE Guidelines for Best Practice define a health and safety audit as: “the collection of independent information on the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of the total health and safety management system and drawing up plans for corrective action.” The main reason is that you must comply with health and safety legislation. Furthermore it is recommended that a health and safety audit should be conducted for the following reasons:

  • Demonstrates management commitment towards employees, health and safety committee members and to your customers.
  • It is a crucial aspect of successful health and safety management systems.
  • Smooths the progress of planned improvements to the safety management system to reduce losses.
  • You must regularly examine the quality and effectiveness of your health and safety management systems. Control systems weaken over time and need to be constantly reviewed.
  • Identifies weaknesses in human resources.

Who can do an audit?

There are two ways to conduct an audit. The first method is to train an employee to become your internal safety auditor. The second method is to appoint an external auditor to conduct safety audits. Although it is good practice for organisations to have an internal auditor, we do however recommend that organisations make use of an external auditor at least once a year or every six months, depending on the size and activities within the organisation. The reason for this recommendation is as follows: Benefits of doing an external audit:

  • The person doing the internal audit might be experienced to do the audit, but often lack skills in proper documentation of the audit report.
  • We have legally compliant documentation and have the advantage of the use of a high-end electronic, cloud-based health and safety audit system, which was developed by our in-house development team (DigiSoft).  This does not only ensure a legally compliant report, but ensures that all your audit reports are stored electronically. Reports will also only be accessible to authorised staff members, appointed by the 16.2 of your Company.
  • You can evaluate the effectiveness of your health and safety system against other organisations within your sector.
  • Clients (Principal Contractors) are more likely to do business with Companies/Contractors that have a proper system for external health and safety audits.
  • Auditors have experience in conducting health and safety audits within various industries.
  • External auditors can make unbiased and expert recommendations. An internal auditor may be biased and therefore organisations cannot depend on such reports.
  • Auditors (external) know what the Department Of Labour expect from the audit report, because they have access to regularly updated from Department Of Labour.
  • Internal auditors often have little or no experience in conducting health and safety audits.
  • Audit reports are normally not accepted by either shareholders or tax authorities.
  • If the audit is not conducted by an experienced auditor, there could be a higher chance of slip-ups/mistakes not being detected.