A health and safety consultant has been fined for breach of legislation after it was revealed he provided inadequate health and safety advice on technical issues and complex matters while not being qualified to advise his clients.
Luton Crown Court heard how Clive Weal, a self-employed health and safety consultant from Torksey, Lincolnshire, provided inadequate and flawed advice on the management and control of risk in relation to hand arm vibration, workplace noise and the control of substances hazardous to health.
A HSE investigation found that Mr Weal incorrectly identified risk from exposure to hand arm vibration as ‘low’ and advised to use ‘anti vibration gloves’ as an appropriate control measure. He also failed to identify that paints containing isocyanates can cause asthma. His poor and incompetent advice resulted in a lack of remedial action being implemented to prevent employees being exposed to levels of noise, hand arm vibration and chemical substances that may have a damaging impact on their health.
Mr Weal was subsequently found to be incompetent of advising his clients in the assessment and control of risks from workplace noise, hand arm vibration and substances hazardous to health. He pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1,400. Following the hearing at Luton Crown Court, HSE specialist inspector Parmjit Gahir said:
‘Employers are more likely to use external consultants to provide assistance in complex situations where a higher level of competence is required. How consultants achieve competence is up to them. However, they will have to be able to satisfy employers that they have a sufficient level of competence for the job in hand. Being a member of a relevant professional body, which sets competence standards for its members and operates continuing professional development schemes is one way of helping; as is presenting evidence of relevant experience such as references from previous clients; or obtaining qualifications.’
Safety legislation requires every employer to designate a ‘competent person’ to assist with health and safety at work. Employee Management can provide tailored health and safety solutions to meet the individual needs of your business, offering a friendly and professional health and safety service. Our in-house health and safety consultant Paul Brown, is a highly qualified Health & Safety professional with a wealth of knowledge and experience gained over 20 years in risk management. Paul is also a member of various professional bodies including IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health), IIRSM (International Institute of Risk & Safety Management), APS (Association for Project Safety) and IEMA (Institute for Environmental Management & Assessment). He is also registered on the OSHCR (Occupational Safety & Health Consultants Register) .
Should you wish to discuss any health and safety issues within your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01942 727 200.