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Deciding who will help you with your duties

As an employer, you must appoint someone competent to help you meet your health and safety duties. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety. In many cases, you will know the risks in your business best. This will mean that you are the competent person and can carry out the risk assessments yourself.

You could appoint (one or a combination of):

Many businesses can develop the necessary expertise in-house and are well equipped to manage health and safety themselves. However, there are some things you may not be able to do for yourself and you may decide to get external help. Possible sources of advice include:

Identifying and deciding what help you need is very important. If you appoint someone to help you, you must ensure that they are competent to carry out the tasks you give them and that you provide them with adequate information and support. If you are not clear about what you want, you probably won’t get the help you need.

Some points to consider when using external help

Try to make sure that you get a good follow-up service and are able to get further advice on any issues that arise from implementing their recommendations.

If you need help with technical issues or very specific health and safety risks, you may need to consult external specialists. For more information see Get competent advice.
Updated 2013-11-29