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Safety Manager vs. Safety Consultant: What’s the difference and which one do you need?

What is the Role of a Safety Manager?

A safety manager is typically an in-house professional responsible for managing the overall safety of the workplace. Their specific roles and responsibilities usually include:

Developing Safety Policies and Procedures: They create rules and guidelines to ensure safety in the workplace, aligned with local and national safety regulations.

Conducting Safety Audits: Regular inspections are conducted to identify potential hazards and ensure compliance with safety standards.

Providing Safety Training: They educate employees about safety practices, accident prevention, and emergency response.

Managing Safety Incidents: They oversee incident reporting, investigation, and follow-up actions.

Maintaining Regulatory Compliance: They ensure the company adheres to all safety laws and regulations, minimizing legal risks.

A safety manager is particularly valuable in industries with high-risk environments, such as construction, manufacturing, energy, or mining. At companies with insufficient budgets to maintain a full-time, dedicated safety manager, these duties are sometimes handled as part of other overall responsibilities or split among multiple roles. While this helps ease the burdens across internal resources, it can put a strain on compliance and allow important obligations to fall through the cracks.

What is the Role of a Safety Consultant?

A safety consultant is typically an external expert brought in to advise your company on specific safety issues. Their responsibilities generally involve:

Providing Expert Advice: Consultants offer highly specialized knowledge on various safety topics related to your specific industry or circumstances.

Conducting Safety Audits: They perform comprehensive audits to identify safety gaps and provide recommendations for improvement.

Developing Safety Programs: They assist in creating tailored safety programs based on industry best practices.

Training Employees: They deliver specialized training sessions on specific safety topics.

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance: They help the company understand, stay up to date with, and meet specific safety regulations.

A safety consultant is especially appropriate when your company requires specialized safety expertise or an objective outside perspective. EHS consultants can be particularly useful for small to medium-sized businesses that may not have the budget for a full-time safety manager but still need to ensure safety compliance.

Do You Need a Safety Consultant if You Have a Safety Manager?

You probably noticed several similarities between the two roles. Generally, a safety manager is involved in the day-to-day safety management of a company, while a safety or EHS consultant provides specialized, project-based services.

If you have a safety manager, you can probably still benefit from the services of a safety consultant. If you don’t have a full-time safety manager, a consultant can help you understand how to allocate your resources to ensure compliance and safety.

Though their scope and focus can vary, both have a crucial role to play in workplace safety. The choice between the two often depends on your company’s size, budget, industry, and specific safety needs. Given those variables, it makes sense to seek the insights of a safety services expert like SITEX who can analyze your current needs and balance them against available resources to most effectively utilize your safety budget.

Fill out the form to discuss your needs with SITEX and determine the most efficient way to ensure compliance and safe workspaces for your employees.

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