How to Assess a Safety Consultant Services Before Hiring One
Nowadays, there is no shortage of “consultants” happy to offer their
advice for a cost. However, when you talk about worker’s safety, you have to look into a few things before deciding to hire a certain professional or company.
Whether you need help with basic or complex safety compliance issues, make sure you choose the right consultant, beginning with the following considerations:
Qualifications are definitely – and obviously – important. There are several degree programs offered in the area of safety these days, but keep in mind that just because your potential consultant has one, doesn’t mean they’re right for your needs. Consider the greater importance of “real-world” experience and proven capacity to provide excellent results.Hence, choose a consultant that doesn’t only have academic qualifications but also solid experience in the industry.
This can be another source of confusion for any typical business owner or decision-maker. Although there are highly reputable organizations and professional safety designations, many latecomers do not hold their members to the same high standards. Therefore, when assessing a safety consultant’s certifications, find out how these credentials were obtained. Did they simply have to pay for a class and sit through it?
Look into your prospective consultant’s work history and ask for proof that they have successfully handled similar problems as yours. Good consultants can transition from one industry to another without trouble, although you’ll probably want to hire a specialist when you have the option. Also, what does their experience say about their knowledge of the technical as well as the human dimensions of safety management?
A great way to learn more about a safety consultant is to talk to some of their past clients. What types have they worked with before? Are these established companies? Don’t hesitate to ask for some names and phone numbers. Don’t obsess about any particular recommendation; instead, take a well-balanced perspective of their past work.
No matter how great a safety consultant’s reputation and track record may be, they should never offer guarantees. In fact, if they start making you promises, you should be wary. Explain your issues thoroughly and listen to the solutions they propose. When you ask them questions, do they give satisfying answers? Do they use plain language or jargon? Remember, unless you understand each other clearly, their advice is of no value. Any consultant memorize a whole material about OSHA Standards, but what you want is someone who understands your needs and can provide effective solutions.
Lastly, take note that a quality safety consultant cares enough about their business and will not balk at investing in professional liability and general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $1 million each. Most importantly, they will eagerly provides copies of their certificates of insurance to assure their clients. Just remember that legit certificates are never provided to you by the consultant, but rather by the insurance company itself. Therefore, if a safety consultant shows you some document that is is supposed to prove they are insured, run.