Health & Safety: External Consultant v. Do it Yourself – A Case Study

Risk Management Page ImageA Bruce Stevenson client, a 140 year old company with a turnover of around £11m and employing over 60, had retained the services of an external Health & Safety advisor. This was to assist with the onerous task of updating their antiquated health & safety management systems, risk assessments and associated processes at a cost of £3500 + VAT per annum. For this investment they got three visits a year from their designated Health & Safety advisor who suggested specific improvement areas in their management systems. These ranged from updating their training records to fire risk assessments and management of personal protective equipment.

The company was happy with the advice until a survey was carried out by the insurer, who quickly discovered that although the client was following the advice provided by their Health & Safety advisor and working hard to improve the overall management of their systems, there was still a large number of areas where additional work was required.  Seeking help to improve this situation, the company approached their Health & Safety advisor to enquire how much it would cost for them to carry out a gap analysis, identify the shortfalls in their current systems and provide them with assistance to bring everything up to the required standard in order to comply with all the relevant legislation.  The quotation was in excess of £20,000 + VAT.

Knowing that our client was obviously keen to find an alternative solution, we suggested the Business Continuity and Risk Management (BCARM) online system which we provide. The annual cost of this system in this case was £3200 + VAT, so they decided to dispense with the services of their Health & Safety advisor and use the online system instead.

The BCARM system, allied to their knowledge of their own workplace, risk assessments and safe systems of work, has enabled this client to:

  • Significantly improve their internal management systems
  • Make a large cash saving
  • Bring together all of the historical work they had done in different areas of Health & Safety into one easily accessible format
  • Carry out self-audits on their systems
  • Identify shortfalls and exposures
  • Produce a development plan to bring everything up to the required standard
  • Improve employee training records
  • Make use of the extensive online technical library, document templates and guidance notes

A growing concern for employers and insurers is the increasing number of claims made by employees for work place injuries, and this was the main focus of our clients’ insurer survey. It assessed their Health & Safety management systems to see how robust they would be in the event of such a claim. Inadequate risk assessments and insufficient training records make it very difficult for an insurer to defend these claims on behalf of the insured. It could also lead to insurance cover being difficult to obtain or, at the very least, being more expensive than necessary.

Through use of the BCARM system, our client has been able to demonstrate a significant improvement in their Health & Safety management which, should it continue, will hopefully see a reduction in their insurance premiums.

For more information on the benefits of the Business Continuity and Risk Management system please contact Gordon Cameron or visit our website: [contact_info color=”black” phone=”0141 354 2890″ email=”Gordon [email protected]”][contact_info link=””]