As Health and Safety consultants, we do have to be concerned with the risks and the safety concerning the employees of the companies who we work with. We are on standby in the event of something going wrong and harming one of the staff members or member of the public. We set down policies and specifications which are determined by the particular situations of the company involved and the activities that they conduct. Our consultants need to be alert at all times just in case somebody hurts themselves, despite us analysing the risks and the possible dangers that are present.
One of our customers conducts business out of a warehouse, selling plastics and all kinds of household items. They have numerous stores in Gauteng. One afternoon, I received a call from one of the ladies that we deal with. What I heard was this: “Please – Sean (our consultant) must get here now! Please send him immediately! An employee here has been burnt! Please – she needs urgent help! Send him now!” I told her I would get him to call as soon as possible. I made urgent calls to get Sybrand (as Sean was in a boardroom meeting) to get in touch with them immediately. Five minutes later Sean called me back to tell me that the employee’s baby was being born! It is clearly important to ensure the correct information is communicated down the line.
This brings us to the next point. We offer our services to ensure that each company has a Safety File which contains all information on staff issues and emergency numbers that are available in the time of need. We are not medical officers.
Obviously what they had to do was send the employee to hospital immediately. They were convinced that because this was happening at work, they had to fill out an incident report and have us on site. Sean set them straight and the employee was sent to deliver her baby in peace, and released from the restraints of filling out reports on an “injury on duty.”
It is also clearly important to know exactly what we can do as your Health and Safety consultants. We do promise to go the extra mile, but down the correct road!