H&S Competent Person – 6 Reasons You Should Be Outsourcing Your Health and Safety Competent Person

Health and Safety Competent Person

As a business, you know the value of good people within your business. You’ve invested a lot of time and energy into the team you have, because they can be the drivers behind the success of a project—and even the success of an entire operation.

Is it really in your best interest to pull them from their roles to focus on your health & safety procedures?

Typically, the answer is no.

So you employ someone in a health & safety capacity, and absorb the costs of recruiting, screening, and hiring them. You pay top dollar and hope they have the initiative, training, and knowledge to deliver what your organisation needs. You take the risk that the ongoing investment will pay off.

Is that your only option?

Again, the answer is no. If moving an existing employee into health & safety is counter-productive, and hiring a new employee into the role is too risky, your third option could be the best: outsourcing.

If your business doesn’t have the competence under UK legislation to manage H&S in house—maybe your business is too complex or too high-risk—outsourcing could have far-reaching benefits. We’ll unpack those benefits here.

First Up: What is a Competent Person?

In the Health & Safety sphere, a competent person is one who has the:

“Necessary skills, experience and knowledge to manage health and safety.”

As an organisation, you are required under UK legislation to appoint a competent person to help you achieve your health and safety obligations. More than just someone who can safely perform the tasks required of your business, a competent person will be tasked with ensuring all areas of your business adhere to best practice.

In essence, a Health & Safety competent person can recognise risks and hazards within your operations, and help to structure controls that protect you, your people, and your business.

Does My Business Need a Health & Safety Competent Person?

In a nutshell: Yes.

While the standards for health and safety in the UK workplace are set in the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, it’s the latter standards that specify:

“Employers must appoint a ‘competent person’ to oversee health and safety in the workplace.”

Appointing a Health & Safety competent person is crucial to the longevity and compliance of your business, but it can also be a time- and money-consuming task. When you’re looking for a more effective way to stay compliant in the workplace, here are 6 reasons you might want to consider outsourcing the role.

6 Benefits To Outsourcing Your Health & Safety Competent Person

1. It Frees Up Your People

The most valuable resource most businesses have is its people. A large amount of time, energy, and financial support goes into putting the best people into the right roles, so it makes sense to keep those people where they best achieve your business outcomes.

Hiring a new employee is a costly process in general, and more so for businesses that are unsure of what they should expect from a health and safety role. Onboarding a new employee is a period of adjustment and managing expectations, and in many cases, this just isn’t feasible for the business in the short-term.

For these reasons, bringing in a consultant who specialises in health and safety outcomes keeps your team free to drive strong outcomes for your business.

2. It Drives Efficiency

Health & Safety legislation in the UK is wide-ranging and ever-changing. This is a space that becomes even more complex when you factor in industry-specific caveats and expectations.

What we’re saying is: staying across health and safety obligations takes focus.

Outsourcing your health and safety competent person can give your organisation the peace of mind in knowing an expert is laser-focused on managing the risks and liabilities in a way that is compliant, effective, and efficient.

3. It Can Streamline Costs

One of the most important considerations in business is costs. Wage costs can quickly get out of control, and productivity—especially in a role in the health and safety sphere—can be difficult to measure.

Outsourcing can help maintain more consistency in running costs, whilst avoiding the high cost of a full-time health and safety officer.  

In addition, employing a health and safety competent person as an employee comes with its own set of legal requirements and compliance tests. If your business isn’t prepared for this level of investment, bringing in a contracted professional could be a more simple, cost-effective solution.

4. It Protects Your Business

Any good business owner or operator wants to protect its people. A safer, healthier workplace is a happier workplace—and a better place to work.

By gaining clarity from a professional surrounding your health and safety obligations, you reduce your risk of non-compliance fines, legal trouble, damage to your business brand, and loss of productivity.

When you are seeking to build confidence within your team, with external stakeholders, and key investors, outsourcing a professional advisor can help you achieve that outcome.

5. It Promotes Strong Company Culture

Research has shown that a positive company culture improves employee wellbeing, and reduces accidents in the workplace by up to 50%. It reduces employee turnover, drives productivity, and increases consumer engagement.

And the #1 factor in a positive company culture? Employees feeling valued in the workplace.

Demonstrate how much you value your team by delivering a robust, professional health and safety process that protects everybody in the workplace. Emphasise your company’s commitment to a safe working environment through quality procedures and consistent monitoring—and enjoy the tangible benefits.

6. It Puts You in The Driver’s Seat

Have you heard the phrase, “I can’t see the wood for the trees.”?

When you are heavily involved in developing and maintaining the health and safety processes within your business, you may struggle to see the big picture. As you—or any key member of your management team—becomes caught up in “putting out fires” it becomes incredibly difficult to navigate the HSE ship as a part of your overall business convoy.

An independent consultant allows you to step back and consider practical solutions, rather than to operate your business from a reactive response position.

Final Thoughts

A strong health and safety process can keep your business agile, help you identify and prepare for HSE issues, and support you in making compliant, flexible, and well-informed decisions.

It can keep your team free to focus on driving your business forward and reaching crucial outcomes. Most importantly, it keeps your people and your organisation safe.

The question is: do you really have time to do it yourself? If not, outsourcing your Health & Safety competent person could be the strong solution for your business.

Do you want us to take care of your Health & Safety Compliance?

At RKMS we have over 25 years worth of experience in assisting companies with Health & Safety matters. Leave your H&S compliance in the safe hands of our expert consultants.


Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?

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Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?

John Keen
Apart from work John enjoys sports (football, karate & walking) as well as travel & spending time with friends & grandchildren.

Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?