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Health & Safety in Commercial Property

Feb 28 2018

Health and safety compliance is critical in the commercial property sector, where extra care must be taken to ensure that staff and customers are protected. Having supported the industry for over a decade, Vita Safety understand the challenges that organisations, property developers and commercial landlords face when upholding health and safety standards.

Our health and safety consultancy goes beyond protecting your employees; we manage compliance from a property risk, insurance risk and business continuity point of view, drawing on our experience from other sectors to offer tailored advice.

By taking care of all aspects of property, fire, and occupational health and safety requirements, we give our clients the freedom to focus on their day-to-day business.

Read on to learn more about how we help the commercial property sector navigate the challenges of health and safety.

Housing Group

“The review by Vita Safety really helped the management team to identify and focus on the main strategic risks to the organisation. It enabled us to develop and continue to deliver ongoing improvements. The workshops helped us to engage senior managers in health and safety, and to bring clarity to their responsibilities and operational plans.”

Immediate actions to improve health and safety

When working with new clients, we complete a full audit and management review. This provides a current status of commercial properties in your care and identifies the most important priorities for compliance and business protection.

You may have all the documentation, but this doesn’t necessarily mean your organisation is compliant. Documents may be too generic, or perhaps certain risks have been overlooked.

On taking over a contract from a previous supplier, for example, we identified an overloaded wooden mezzanine storage structure that presented a serious risk. This was rectified within a matter of hours, preventing a potential collapse.

By reviewing the procedures you already have in place and addressing any pressing concerns, we ensure you have a robust strategy for health and safety management and reporting from day one of working with us.

Managing property risks with ease

To stay on top of property risks, it’s vital to invest in an efficient system for reporting on performance and keeping a record of incidents. However, health and safety audits can be costly for a business – especially when you have multiple sites to visit around the UK.

Vita Safety has partnered with DataStation to develop a cloud-based system that makes this process simple and cost-effective. Senior facilities managers, HR managers and property directors can access this anywhere, from any device, to gain a real-time view of health and safety performance and property risks, all in one place.

Authorised users can gain visibility on fire, asbestos and electrical issues, as well as building and maintenance work, and complete risk assessments (such as gas safety certificates and water hygiene tests) remotely. As a result, the board can easily report on when and how these activities were completed, providing reassurance that compliance is in order.

Improving the quality and consistency of procedures

A tick-box approach to risk assessments simply isn’t good enough anymore. Vita Safety can provide advice on improving the quality and consistency of procedures, helping clients to standardise assessments across all their national and international locations.

We can also help set up a filing system and provide compliance information and training; this can save time when launching a new location, as well as improving health and safety engagement and culture. What’s more, we provide a single point of contact for client-specific assistance – ensuring you get the advice you need, when you need it.

Support with global expansion plans

Managing health and safety abroad is complicated; every country has their own rules and regulations. Though the principles are the same, you need someone who is an expert in the native laws to achieve compliance.

The cost of hiring a full-time member of staff for this is prohibitive for most companies. This makes the support of an experienced consultant, with knowledge of the intricacies and nuances of local legislation, essential.

Our consultancy business has a network of associates across Europe and further afield available to support clients where necessary. For example, we recently completed a project in Germany for a global retailer, where we worked with our associate team to ensure compliance with German law during their expansion.

Minimising the risk of catastrophic events

It’s impossible to insure against all the costs associated with a catastrophic event. If an incident should unfortunately happen that involves a member of staff or the public, the knock-on effect on your business can be monumental.

Your policy won’t cover prosecution, or fines for injuries or fatalities that occur due to your mistakes. Nor will it take into account the downtime and costs that management will face should an investigation need to be carried out. As such, it’s crucial to avoid mistakes from happening in the first place.

Vita Safety focus on protecting the financial health and reputation of your business, as well as the safety of customers and employees. We put plans in place to deal with incidents should they occur, ensuring business continuity.

Saving you time and resources

Managing health and safety internally requires time and resources that many senior facilities managers, HR managers and property directors simply can’t justify. This is especially true for property developers working on a project basis.

Outsourcing is a cost-efficient alternative, taking this burden off your shoulders while ensuring compliance at all times. By working with Vita Safety, you gain access to highly skilled, specialist consultants with experience across multiple sectors, who can offer as much or as little support as you need.

A multinational energy company choose us to take the headache of compliance away. We support their offices in the UK, France and Germany – from both a landlord and tenant perspective – to ensure their people and business are protected.

Global Retail Brand

“We have been appointing Vita Safety for our annual health and safety compliance audit for the past two years and are really happy with the comprehensive service delivered.

 Reports received have been detailed yet concise, and have provided a good review of how we are doing. The recommendations included have been well organised and with good advice – not only on what standard was achieved but also on how best to achieve higher standards.

We are really pleased with the excellent work that has been provided by Vita Safety in terms of content, delivery and – more importantly – service and flexibility.

 I would not hesitate in recommending Vita Safety to other organisations; I consider their technical knowledge to be second to none, and the standard of work and reports very high.”