SMAS Worksafe application changes

Changes to SMAS application process

The changes in the SMAS Worksafe application process are temporary and have been developed to enable a pragmatic and proportionate approach to all desktop assessments for suppliers who may be struggling with the impact of COVID-19.

Companies must be given additional support, in the short-term, where they cannot access pertinent information (due to furloughs and/or site/office closures) but wish to keep important certification in place during this period.

Why we have made changes to our application:

  • We recognise that people are not located in their normal business premises and that this may mean they do not have access to the documentation they need
  • Feedback from our accredited members is that they wish to keep certification in date
    because:
  1. to some extent, they’re required to continue to deliver on contracts during the coronavirus crisis
  2. they wish to avoid potential delays and keep certification in date in preparation for returning to work when possible

Our application process has changed in the following way:

Note: the following approach is available only to renewing members and not those who are completing the application for the first time, as this approach relies on the availability of previously assessed information.

  • Those companies who are renewing their SMAS Worksafe certification during the period of lock-down will have a choice to either:
  1. upload the latest available policies and other documentation, if available (recommended),or
  2. upload a holding document to certain questions where documentation is not accessible, which can be blank and labelled “Carry forward” to let us know they wish to use the same information provided in the previous year’s assessment
  • All areas of questioning covered by the SSIP core criteria can be addressed using the above option to carry information forward, except for key qualifications relating to high-risk trades, which will be required to be evidenced as in-date

 

  • All information carried forward will have formed part of the members successful application in the previous year, so we know the information is good and meets criteria HOWEVER there may be some changes in the company’s activities which are not reflected and so these changes must be expressed by the member in the form of additional notes

 

  • Where appropriate the SMAS Worksafe assessor will review information, reflect on any significant changes, and provide the member with a clear action plan of changes which they must acknowledge and agree to implement, ready for their next annual reassessment in 2021.

 

  • We will not require wet signatures on policies or other documentation but instead ask the member to digitally agree to a declaration that states all information is accurate and up to date.

 

SMAS Worksafe application changes

We also have a short video explaining the changes which you can watch here.

Work Health & Safety Board

Hints and tips for your health and safety assessment

Don’t let remote working stop your business from recording and updating its health & safety systems. With technology at our disposal, it’s becoming easier to document, record and sign information. Remember to ask your competent health and safety consultant for advice and templates if you have one. Alternately you can use the HSE website that has an abundance of free resources to help with some of the areas below so you can complete your SMAS accreditation as quickly as possible.

H&S Policy

When the senior person is reviewing the company health and safety policy, an electronic signature is just as suitable as a hand-signed signature. This saves time and resources by mitigating the printing of documents and scanning.

If an organisation has employees and labour personnel that equate to five personnel or more, a full health and safety policy would be required. This includes the statement of intent, responsibilities and arrangements sections.

Monitoring

Monitoring and communication can be done through electronic means, monitoring of equipment such as DSE or equipment checks on a tablet, laptop or phone can be an effective tool; with an electronic signature as proof when conducted or taking a photo on your phone is an alternative means.

Training Plan

Recording your training can be done in numerous ways such as a training plan on an excel sheet, a CPD Plan or recording it on your Google calendar for refresher training; ensure you take a print screen for your submission if you are using the latter option. This demonstrates that the company understands the employee’s needs when recording training.

Training

Training arrangements is a dynamic process; it is hard when personnel are away on jobs or holiday. Organisations can provide health and safety training booking confirmation by a competent health and safety consultant or training establishment. This demonstrates that your organisation has processes in place for continuous personnel development.

Communication

When communicating health and safety information with your workforce, record those who were at the meeting. The senior person can then electronically sign off all those who were present.  This method is also useful when recording employees and subcontractors who are not available, by emailing the documentation and asking for their e signature as confirmation also ensures personnel understood the content. An alternative means of communications could be emails submitted to personnel on health and safety matters, this can also be provided as evidence if working away from the office.

If you have any questions on the assessment process, please don’t hesitate to ask for guidance on your assessment prior to submission. The SMAS assessors are happy to discuss your assessment, providing guidance as necessary to understand how your company operates and therefore be legally compliant.

Go beyond Health & Safety

SMAS also offer more than just health and safety accreditation. They also offer a Preferred Supplier package which gives your business recognition for some of the practices you may already have in place, such as environmental and anti-bribery & corruption.

This will show contractors your business takes these areas seriously and could help in making you rise above other companies when they’re looking for subcontractors to work on their sites.

SMAS PS_Service_Wheel

Stop sign - Coronavirus zone

SSIP Coronavirus Update

With Coronavirus well and truly taking its toll on the UK, normal practices are becoming more and more difficult and lots of questions are being asked, especially to do with work and the construction industry, with some sites remaining open whilst other have closed completely.

Where does this leave your SSIP Certificate?   

SSIP or Safety Schemes in Procurement is an industry recognised scheme for health and safety qualification. Obtaining an SSIP Certificate shows contractors that your business is of a certain standard when it comes to H&S and some of the larger building companies may require you to hold a certificate in order to work for them.

With all that is happening due to the spread of Covid-19, there may be some difficulties and question around SSIP and if you can obtain a certificate now, whilst you may have more time and what is going to happen to an existing certificate you may hold.

For those of you seeking certification whilst you have more time, you may find it difficult to gain access to specific evidence from current projects due to them closing. In order to overcome these restrictions, there are a number of possible resolutions to avoid a delay in submitting applications:

  • Suppliers are encouraged to send the documentation that they have available to the registered member. The Registered Member will advise on the applicability of the information and will provide feedback on any adjustment of scope to your assessment. Suppliers may not be able to include all work categories within their scope at the point of certification; the Registered Members are in a position to alter your scope of certification at any time during the twelve-month certification period enabling further information to be sent once it becomes available and the scope amended.

 

  • Suppliers are reminded that the assessment process offered by all Registered Member schemes does not require evidence from a live project. The general assessment specification requires that evidence can be accepted from a project completed within the last 12 months. If for any reason the evidence available falls outside of this 12-month window, contact the Registered Member who are able to make a proportionate risk-based judgement to its suitability.

 

  • Most assessments undertaken by Registered Members are annual re-assessment and all members are required to hold all evidence from the previous assessment for a 12-month period. All Registered Members are requested by SSIP to extend this period of documentation retention to 18 months to support delayed applications and delayed Registered Member Audits. Suppliers can ask the Registered Member for access to the previous information and ask them to confirm which previously accepted documents can be re-used. For example, standard procedures or policies if confirmed they are still relevant / qualifications for workers that are still employed.

Qualifications and Training Certificates:

There will be circumstances over the coming period whereby certain qualifications / training certificates may expire. As the restriction to travel will prevent the re-certification for certain training or card schemes, all Registered Member will be required to follow the developments and recommendations from the training or card providers on the acceptance of expired examples i.e.

https://www.cscs.uk.com/applying-for-cards/covid-19/

SSIP will endeavour to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and will continue to update any guidance for Registered Members and suppliers on a regular basis.

SMAS Worksafe:

If you are looking to gain SSIP now, please feel free to give us a call on 01752 697370 or click here to begin an online application.

We are still able to process applications and our inhouse assessors are available to chat to you Monday – Friday if you’re having any issues with your application. Please note, however, that we are unable to take phone payments – but you can pay through our portal and there is a video guide below if you have any issues.

You can also fill out your application now, pay for the certificate when you know more information about sites reopening and receive your certificate within a day so you’re ready to get back on-site, fully accredited.