A Competent Person helps your business to comply with its health and safety responsibilities, taking all the reasonable steps to keep your team safe.
A Competent Person has the skills, knowledge and experience to spot safety hazards in your business, identify solutions and put in place measures to protect workers from harm.
Every business in the UK must have access to one or more Competent Person to meet their health and safety requirements, regardless of the size of business and the sector you operate in. It doesn’t matter if you are a high or low risk business, you still need to appoint a Competent Person.
Does the Competent Person need to have a formal qualification?
It’s not essential to have any formal qualifications but it would be a distinct advantage to protect your business from risk and in keeping your team safe.
Although no formal qualification is necessary, the competent person does need to have:
- The right knowledge, skills and technical ability to develop solutions to safety problems
- Be able to apply their knowledge and skills to a solution – in other words, knowing the theory is not enough, they must be able to put it into practice
- Practical experience and are familiar with the business and the activities it undertakes.
How do I appoint a Competent Person?
Usually managing basic health and safety requirements is relatively straight-forward and you can appoint yourself or one (or more) of your workers. As mentioned above though, they do need to have the right skills and be able put those skills and experience into practice.
If you don’t feel confident managing your own health and safety, you can appoint someone from outside your business such as a safety consultant or external safety professional to support you. If you’re unsure that someone in your business is able to fulfil this role, it’s always best to be cautious and appoint an expert to ensure you’re meeting all your legal requirements.
If you appoint a consultant like Primed, you must remember that as the employer, managing health and safety will still be your legal duty.
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