How to Hire a Safety Consultant

Hiring a safety consultant is an important task for any growing organization. Whether the position is being opened up because of specific safety concerns, or strictly as a preventative measure, it is important to take the time to make sure you’re hiring the right person for the job. While there are many things that need to be looked at in order to get the right person, there are some qualifications that any good safety consultant should have.

Looking at each of the following things about any consultant applying for the position will help ensure you get someone who will help improve the overall safety of your facility. Just like hiring any employee, you don’t want to rush the process just to get someone hired in. Take your time and find the best candidate, and you’ll get the great results you’re looking for.

Experience

When looking at the previous experience of any safety consultant, you don’t want to just look to make sure they have worked in safety before. Ask them about, and research, the specific types of industries they have worked with before, and what types of problems they solved. Whenever possible, find someone who has dealt with the same types of safety concerns your company is facing, and they will be able to hit the ground running much more effectively.

Education

While education doesn’t guarantee the individual will be good at his job, it is a great indicator. There are a variety of different degree programs, as well as professional certifications when it comes to the safety consultant industry. Look closely at what types of education and other formal training the individual has. This can help weed out under qualified applicants quickly and easily, so you can focus on a short list of candidates.

Professional References

When a candidate comes with professional references from other people in the same or a similar industry to yours, it can be an excellent indication of their skill in this area. Most people don’t write letters of recommendation, or provide professional references if they weren’t extremely happy with the work they performed. Read through any professional references to see where they are from, and if they are from a similar industry, this can help find the right candidate quite quickly.

Memberships in Professional Groups or Organizations

There are a wide range of different safety organizations out there. Finding out which ones the candidate is a member of can help you learn more about them, and whether or not they would be a good fit for your company. Look for the most reputable credentials from membership organizations like the ASSE or CSP. If they are a member of a group that you’re not already familiar with, make sure to do a little research into the organization to see what types of requirements they have for membership.

Insurance

Good safety consultants will carry professional liability and general liability insurance of $1,000,000 or more. While this may seem like just a technicality, especially if insurance is a requirement in your state, it is actually a good indication of how seriously the consultant is taking their own business. Asking a potential candidate to produce the insurance paperwork is a quick way to weed out many unqualified individuals or companies.

Corporate Fit

This one is sometimes much more difficult to measure, since it is very subjective, but it can be very important. Taking the time to have several people within your organization get to know the applicants can help figure out whether or not the individual will be a good fit with your company. Of course, it is far more important that they will provide the level of services you require to improve overall safety, but this is much easier to do when they also get along well with the rest of the team.

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