Health and safety registers need more thought

With the new ‘accreditation scheme’ due to be announced by the HSE in the autumn there are still some aspects that don’t appear to have been addressed.

Chartered members of IOSH and CIEH are eligible to join the scheme and other fellows of institutions with relevant specialisms are likely to be ‘shooed in’. There doesn’t seem to have been much thought given to the issue of whether a qualification covers every aspect of safety.

People with high level qualifications might find it easy to qualify, but they may still not be the right people if they don’t have specific qualifications in specialist areas.

A good example is our own business. The partners are a specialist in fire safety who is not CMIOSH and a qualified CMIOSH practitioner with specialisms in environmental safety.

The CMIOSH partner is the first to admit that he is not qualified to carry out fire risk assessments in medium/high risk areas.

The non Chartered member of IOSH is a fire risk specialist with appropriate qualifications and thoroughly understands fire risk. Who would you rather have carrying out your fire risk assessments?

A register doesn’t demonstrate knowledge, experience, approach or specialist training in one key area. At the end of the day, the onus will still be on the business owner to make the right call about the expert that is right for them.

… and there will still be people on the register who operate with a checklist – which identifies hazards, but doesn’t actually assess risk.