Since the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 came into place, specialised advisors and consultants have been popping up all over New Zealand. But how do you know who’s genuine? We talk to Rebecca Jenkins from Livewire HR, who says it’s all about doing your groundwork.
What should businesses look for when seeking help?
The old saying ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ is very true. It starts by asking questions and learning about health and safety. Then find someone you trust who can advise you clearly about what you actually need. Check to ensure they have qualifications in H&S, NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) or at least Level 6 in Health and Safety. Interview them just like you would an employee.
Are there any misconceptions about what consultants do?
Yes, that it costs an arm and a leg. Definitely the higher the risk you have in your business, the more you need and the more regularly you need to be covering it (and hence higher costs).
But covering the basics and doing those well in most businesses is completely and realistically achievable without it costing the earth. We’re not here to make life hard, so talk to us about what would work for your business and we’ll try our best to incorporate that in your normal activities.
Can people call and have a chat for free?
We always offer a free 30-minute consultation to answer questions. We’re experts in HR and H&S, which means we can advise on both and how they interact with each other. For example: Does your job description include expectations around H&S? Many don’t.
How can people get their ducks in a row to save money and time on health and safety?
The more planning you do, the easier and cheaper my job is. So, have copies of your job description, employment agreements, and any health and safety you already have in place. Secondly, get some training. A one-day course to gain an understanding of what the law requires is about $250, which is a small price for valuable information.