Health and safety - access to competent advice

Last reviewed on 26/06/2014 09:33

Access to competent advice is a legal requirement for all businesses, regardless of their size.

You must appoint a competent person to help you meet your health and safety responsibilities. You could seek the help of an external consultant, but you do not have to do this. It could be you, or someone within your workplace with the relevant knowledge and skills who may have undergone some training.

Appointing a competent person

1. Decide who could assist you to manage health and safety.

2. If you decide to use an external provider, ensure that you find out what range of services they can provide and that these match what you require.

3. If you decide to use existing staff ensure they have the knowledge, skills and experience to provide you with the help you need. You may need to ensure they have sufficient training and may still need to access specialist advice on certain subjects.

Hiring Specialist Help (external link) - The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produced free advice on getting specialist help.

Sources of competent advice (external link) - HSE information on sources of advice and types of advice different advisers can give.

You can also call our Adviceline for free confidential advice, to request a workplace visit, or to register for our Award programme which recognises and accredits good practice.