The difference between Safety Advisor and Competent Person
Ensuring you have the right level of support and advice for your Health & Safety is abit of a mine field and can be defined simply by the number of employees you have.
Less than 5 employees = Safety Advisor
This service is where you are offered support and advice when needed, this tends to be a one of payment where you will be given a service agreement, certificate and a CV to show the qualifications of the person who is providing you with the advice. Paperwork such as off the shelf risk assessments and risk assessments and Method statements would be provided on an as and when basis should you need them.
More than 5 employees = Competent Person
This service is where you pay a monthly retainer fee for continued support and advice should you need it. This service is where your consultant becomes part of your business and should be informed of anything that changes within the organisation. In this service you will be provided with a full Safety Management System including full Health & Safety Policy, Equal opportunities policy and Staff handbook. Your consultant will be on hand to be the link between you and the HSE should this ever be necessary.
Whilst not every company is black and white like this the rule of thumb tends to be the details above. You may be asked by a client to prove you have a dedicated support for Health & Safety resource as well as a policy with less than 5 employees if that is the case you would need fall outside of the rule.
If you are not sure about your personal circumstances please get in touch we are happy to go through everything with you.