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glennuk  
#1 Posted : 10 August 2017 22:48:07(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
glennuk

Hi I have been picked by my MD to do all aspects of health and safety at or two sites one has about 25 staff other has 5 staff I have a out side advisor that comes once a month to keep me on the right track till I'm up to speed I'm currently doing my iosh managing safety so my question is is there a difference between safety officer and manager ? And if so which one is my job worried The will try to down grade the job but load the job up.
Ian Bell2  
#2 Posted : 10 August 2017 23:52:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

Depending upon the company, the difference is about £15k per year.

UncleFester  
#3 Posted : 11 August 2017 05:33:27(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
UncleFester

You'll want to be called 'Manager' as you're responsible for managing sites, and possibly people.

Your boss will want you to be called 'officer' as it keeps the salary down.

glennuk  
#4 Posted : 11 August 2017 07:28:31(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
glennuk

Thanks for that at the moment my wages are probably poor for what I do but I'm thinking long term so I'm getting the training and experience and by the sound of your answers the job title could mean more than just a name later on if I move.
lorna  
#5 Posted : 11 August 2017 08:36:45(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lorna

Hi - just to add another view. I'm CMIOSH but I'm called Health & Safety Advisor - I had a choice & I made a very deliberate one. As far as I'm concerned, the Dept managers manage health & safety in their areas - along with everything else they manage - I advise them, along with some enabling/facilitating/training (cajoling, hand-holding, occasional scolding...)

Everybody assumed that my predecessor was the only person who managed health & safety - so I suppose I'm marking my line in the sand. I've made it vey cleat that I'll do it WITH them and not FOR them.

The pay & conditions are the same.

Edited by user 11 August 2017 08:37:46(UTC)  | Reason: I type faster than I can spell!

thanks 6 users thanked lorna for this useful post.
RayRapp on 11/08/2017(UTC), JohnW on 15/08/2017(UTC), A Kurdziel on 30/08/2017(UTC), MelissaFW on 04/09/2017(UTC), Adams29600 on 06/09/2017(UTC), spud on 21/09/2017(UTC)
RayRapp  
#6 Posted : 11 August 2017 09:36:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

There is a degree of semantics here because the job title will vary according to the size of the company, industry, culture, plus the responsbilities that go with the role - not an exhaustive list either. The important bit is the salary. I have been called everything from manager, adviser, officer, consultant, engineer and many other things in between, but never - over paid!

thanks 1 user thanked RayRapp for this useful post.
lorna on 14/08/2017(UTC)
simon73  
#7 Posted : 11 August 2017 09:44:53(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
simon73

Originally Posted by: lorna Go to Quoted Post

Hi - just to add another view. I'm CMIOSH but I'm called Health & Safety Advisor - I had a choice & I made a very deliberate one. As far as I'm concerned, the Dept managers manage health & safety in their areas - along with everything else they manage - I advise them, along with some enabling/facilitating/training (cajoling, hand-holding, occasional scolding...)

Everybody assumed that my predecessor was the only person who managed health & safety - so I suppose I'm marking my line in the sand. I've made it vey cleat that I'll do it WITH them and not FOR them.

The pay & conditions are the same.


Really good point Lorna. I too am CMIOSH and am part of a small team of similarly qualified 'SHEQ Advisors'.

 glennuk, I agree with much of what has been said. Ensure that your employer understands that they can delegate some responsibility to you but they cannot delegate their accountability.

IOSH Managing Safely is a great course which will certainly benefit you and I would also recommend that you consider moving on to a NEBOSH General Cert as this will give you a greater depth of knowledge than the MS alone.

Best of luck.

watcher  
#8 Posted : 11 August 2017 11:10:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
watcher

Like Simon and Lorna, I am a H & S Adviser.  I don't actively manage H & S, that's for the managers to do. 

In previous jobs I've done, the H & S Manager has actually managed a H & S team, with various specialists and grades.  It was the team he was managing, not the H & S, if you see what I mean.

I see you have an external adviser supporting you, so perhaps you would be better calling yourself a H & S Coordinator. 

I'm not sure what you meant by the job title meaning more than just a name if you move.  If I was recruiting, I would look at experience, skills and qualifications.  I wouldn't consider the actual job title to mean very much, as there is no real consistency across the profession.

I also agree with Simon,  Managing Safely should only be a starting point.  Personally, and I mean this with respect, I would raise my eyebrows a bit at someone calling themselves a H & S Manager, when they were only in the middle of doing the MS. 

I'm sure once you've finished the course, your appetite will be whetted and you'll want to go on and do a H & S qualification

Good luck :-)

Shopland23872  
#9 Posted : 14 August 2017 20:17:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Shopland23872

As all have said above I agree with. However the term health and safety officer is a generic term usually associated with a slightly more junior role.

But if you actually look at the definition below, an officer of the company is in fact a senior title. It may be worth showing this to your employer and discussing how senior the role is.

Section 2(59) of the Companies Act, 2013 defines “officer” to include any director, manager or key managerial personnel or any person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the Board of Directors or any one or more of the directors is or are accustomed to act.

My title is advisor, but my job is actually a H&S manager, but I am covered by a separate Directors and Officers insurance policy, to specifically cover myself and the directors due to my role. The title of manager must mean that you have unlimited access to a suitable budget and an agreed level of authority to perform the role (basically to act and manage without the need to seek permission from the directors) . If you do not have this access you can only be defined in the eyes of the law as an advisor.

I hope that this helps
biker1  
#10 Posted : 15 August 2017 15:27:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

I have always thought that the title 'health and safety manager' gives entirely the wrong impression, and has probably been responsible for more lack of ownership of h&s by directors and managers than most things. Advisor is a much more helpful title, since this is what most h&s people actually do. I once held the title of national safety and quality manager for a company, and not surprisingly there was little ownership of h&s amongst managers up to MD level. The MD's opinion was that h&s looked after itself, which summed up the attitude of the management (and for that matter a large proportion of the workforce). You can only bang your head against a wall for so long before you realise it is really hurting, and you then have to either sink into the mire of complacency that pervades the organisation, or leave. I left.

thanks 1 user thanked biker1 for this useful post.
lorna on 16/08/2017(UTC)
Invictus  
#11 Posted : 16 August 2017 09:40:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Invictus

Yea agree with tghe majority it just depends, I look at the role of H&S as being 3 fold:

Officer: does the job, write risk assessments etc and sends them out, quite often undermined by the managers and just given the tasks.

An Advisor, he does what it says on the tin, he supports management in all processes of H&S, assists with risk assessments, trains, inspections, managers come to him for help.

Manager, ensures that all, the legislative requires are being met, policies are written and up to date, ensures that area or section managers are completing R/A's, COSHH assessments, inspections etc. supports managers to make improvements by giving the information required (advisor role), completes training (as an advisor), normally has direct line to CEO, writes reports, ensures actions are completed etc. Supports the officer and advisor if you have anyone reporting to you. But like the officer and the advisor everyone knows everything about H&S anyway so who I'm I to tell them, they have always done it this way and never been hurt and H&S just slows down the job. So just like the officers and advisors the abuse ids still the same only now I have to wear a tie to be abused.

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chris42 on 16/08/2017(UTC)
Stern  
#12 Posted : 18 August 2017 10:31:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Stern

From my experience, the titles of manager/advisor/officer have always been as follows:

The H&S manager is the person at the head of the company's "H&S department", whether it's just him/her on their own or a large team spread across multiple locations. The manager is the one who reports to the directors, who writes the policies and has overall responsibility for ensuring that the company has all the tools it needs to be compliant on a day-to-day basis (and before anyone jumps on that last bit, yes i know that the directors have the overall responsibility but i'm more referring to the day-to-day stuff). 

So far as the terms "advisor" and "officer" go, in my experience they are faily interchangeable and ultimately do the same thing. They are the ones out on the ground, auditting, inspecting, training and doing the day-to-day jobs which have been delegated to them by the manager.

However, i would add that i dislike the term "officer" and am always quick to correct people if/when they refer to me as one. To me, the word has a very negative vibe and gives the wrong impression of what we do. I much prefer to be called an advisor and usually just introduce myseld as the "safety bloke"!

Edited by user 18 August 2017 10:39:31(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Stern  
#13 Posted : 18 August 2017 10:37:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Stern

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

I have always thought that the title 'health and safety manager' gives entirely the wrong impression, and has probably been responsible for more lack of ownership of h&s by directors and managers than most things. Advisor is a much more helpful title, since this is what most h&s people actually do. I once held the title of national safety and quality manager for a company, and not surprisingly there was little ownership of h&s amongst managers up to MD level. The MD's opinion was that h&s looked after itself, which summed up the attitude of the management (and for that matter a large proportion of the workforce). You can only bang your head against a wall for so long before you realise it is really hurting, and you then have to either sink into the mire of complacency that pervades the organisation, or leave. I left.

A good point Biker. I spent most of my career as an H&S advisor for a large national company, working as part of a small team of H&S advisors. Whilst my manager was called the "Group H&S Manager", as a department we were very clear with the rest of the company about our role; "We'll tell you what you need to do, but we're not doing it for you" was the general gyst of it!

I now work as a H&S manager myself and whilst i have unfortunately acquired the dreaded title of "H&S manager", i have made sure to instill that same ethos with my current employer.

Edited by user 18 August 2017 10:38:16(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user thanked Stern for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 30/08/2017(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#14 Posted : 30 August 2017 17:01:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I always have preferred H&S adviser as that is what I do: advise people on how they discharge their Health and Safety responsibilities within the organisation.

The H&S manager is the person who makes sure that the H&S advisers are doing their job. If you are called the H&S manager and don’t have any advisers working for you but manage H&S across the whole businesses you are really just the H&S fall guy!

H&S officers is a term used in the public sector particularly the Civil Service were every pen pusher is an “officer” of some sort (Admin Officer, Executive Officer, Senior Executive Officer, Financial Officer etc) upto Director General level(ooh the vertigo!). I disliked that since it implies H&S is your responsibility not everybody’s.

H&S co-ordinator is a bit like H&S rep: a local lay person who does some H&S on the side but it is not their main role. Important but not part of the HSE team.   

hilary  
#15 Posted : 31 August 2017 09:29:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

Originally Posted by: lorna Go to Quoted Post

Hi - just to add another view. I'm CMIOSH but I'm called Health & Safety Advisor - I had a choice & I made a very deliberate one. As far as I'm concerned, the Dept managers manage health & safety in their areas - along with everything else they manage - I advise them, along with some enabling/facilitating/training (cajoling, hand-holding, occasional scolding...)

Everybody assumed that my predecessor was the only person who managed health & safety - so I suppose I'm marking my line in the sand. I've made it vey cleat that I'll do it WITH them and not FOR them.

The pay & conditions are the same.


I am exactly the same, CMIOSH, sit on the management team but I am the H&S Advisor - a technically competent person who tells them what they should be doing and who makes policy which complies with the Law.  Not a person who does it for them.  My pay is at Line Manager level.

Bigmac1  
#16 Posted : 03 September 2017 10:17:43(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Bigmac1

What concerns me is that you cannot be called any of those titles with IOSH Managing Safely as the limit to your training.

You need a level 3 qualification as a minimum i.e NEBOSH General Cert or Construction Cert.

I am sure your outside help has informed you of this.

Gary

paul.skyrme  
#17 Posted : 03 September 2017 20:01:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
paul.skyrme

Originally Posted by: Bigmac1 Go to Quoted Post
What concerns me is that you cannot be called any of those titleswith IOSH Managing Safely as the limit to your training.
You need a level 3 qualification as a minimum i.e NEBOSH General Cert or Construction Cert.
I am sure your outside help has informed you of this.

Gary


Why not Gary?

Rightly or wrongly there is no controls over those job titles.

After all, unqualified janitors are often referred to as Engineers, at least the op will have a very basic H&S qualification.
MelissaFW  
#18 Posted : 04 September 2017 11:52:25(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
MelissaFW

Personally I am 'Manager' and I see my role as this, if you have an active role in reviweing and deciding on company policies, in my opinion you are managing health and safety. 

We know everyone has responsibilites under H&S and Managers are respinsible for managing this element within the business and employees. I do advise but then what H&S Manager doesn't? 

I don't think it is as clear cut as 'advisor £xx and Manager £xx' unless the industry dictates this. Manager does seem to be given to those who manage Advisors, however in my experience I have learned from seeing others, it does not mean the Manager is more qualified or even worth the bigger salary. 

I think I have waffled on a bit there...apologies!

RayRapp  
#19 Posted : 04 September 2017 12:43:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Some interesting views...for me a manager role must carry with it certain functions and arguably the most important of these is managing people. If you are not managing a team then you are an co-ordinator, adviser, consultant, or whatever.

Bigmac1  
#20 Posted : 04 September 2017 13:41:38(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Bigmac1

Originally Posted by: paul.skyrme Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Bigmac1 Go to Quoted Post
What concerns me is that you cannot be called any of those titleswith IOSH Managing Safely as the limit to your training.
You need a level 3 qualification as a minimum i.e NEBOSH General Cert or Construction Cert.
I am sure your outside help has informed you of this.

Gary



Why not Gary?

Rightly or wrongly there is no controls over those job titles.

After all, unqualified janitors are often referred to as Engineers, at least the op will have a very basic H&S qualification.


Paul, because IOSH Managing safely does not make you competent to give safety advice in any way shape or form

A Kurdziel  
#21 Posted : 04 September 2017 15:13:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I did have a colleague who called herself the H&S tsar, as she admitted she was power crazed and wanted to rule by divine right. (Divine right, of course, trumps a Nat Cert)


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billstrak on 15/09/2017(UTC)
paul.skyrme  
#22 Posted : 04 September 2017 17:37:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
paul.skyrme

Originally Posted by: Bigmac1 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: paul.skyrme Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Bigmac1 Go to Quoted Post
What concerns me is that you cannot be called any of those titleswith IOSH Managing Safely as the limit to your training.
You need a level 3 qualification as a minimum i.e NEBOSH General Cert or Construction Cert.
I am sure your outside help has informed you of this.

Gary



Why not Gary?

Rightly or wrongly there is no controls over those job titles.

After all, unqualified janitors are often referred to as Engineers, at least the op will have a very basic H&S qualification.


Paul, because IOSH Managing safely does not make you competent to give safety advice in any way shape or form


Being an unqualified janitor does not make you competent to be an Engineer either but they do get given that job title, and are referred to as such.

So, no difference.

It's only a job title.

I agree with you, but I am playing devils advocate, as there is much misuse of job titles, and much misunderstanding of job roles, qualifications and training.

One only has to look at how many agencies insist on a 17th edition qualification for electricians who will only ever work on machinery to begin to understand that.  It's no benefit to them really, as BS7671 is virtually irrelevant when you start looking at machinery as in covered by the Machinery Directive.

Edited by user 04 September 2017 17:38:04(UTC)  | Reason: Typo

David Thomas  
#23 Posted : 04 September 2017 22:48:27(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
David Thomas

Are you able to PM the job description, what sector do you work in?
A Kurdziel  
#24 Posted : 05 September 2017 15:34:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

It’s only the UK that calls someone who cleans floors and fixes taps an engineer. In Europe an Engineer is a very tightly controlled job title, often used as a prefix: Engineer Schmitt etc.  It is seen as more prestigious than Doctor. An engineer is a professional who knows their subject inside out and is competent to give advice and guidance. People assume an engineer knows what they are talking about. Last year when a bridge collapsed on the M2 it was partially removed with half left in situ so that the motorway could reopen. The man from the BBC (a BA in journalism or maybe a GCSE in English?) said it look unsafe but he was told that the engineer had a look at it and said it was safe. The BBC then “oh so it is safe, then” not very convincingly. The BBC man thought of an engineer as the guy who fixes his washing machine not as a competent professional. So titles are important.

One thing I don’t understand why we, in the UK,  respect people who call themselves “consultant” so much?  

RayRapp  
#25 Posted : 06 September 2017 09:47:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

One thing I don’t understand why we, in the UK,  respect people who call themselves “consultant” so much?

Because they charge such exorbitant rates they MUST be good.

hilary  
#26 Posted : 06 September 2017 10:47:25(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

Ray, I am right there with you.

I am using an organisation at the moment for building works and they are using a Consultant to do their CDM which is fine but obviously as the onsite responsibility lies with me, I wanted to know which Consultant and what their qualifications and experience were to do this job properly.

Now, I grant that I have not found any problem with this persons work so far and as far as it pertains to the CDM work, but they took their NGC and NCC in 2014, worked in a job for 6 months and has been a Consultant ever since offering expert advice in pretty much everything.

Am I the only one that finds this a bit scary???

RayRapp  
#27 Posted : 06 September 2017 11:36:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Hilary

Fair points.

I'm not knocking all consultants (I was one once) but clearly where the salary being offered in job adverts at £30-£35K you get what you pay for. What their company charges the client I could not say for sure but I bet it covers the consultant's salary very nicely thank you. 

Scary indeed. I have engaged a number of consultants and I thoroughly vet their CV and personally interview them. I would not engage anyone who has does not have the commensurate experience, or who has recently qualified in their field, regardless what they charge. I am the client and reserve the right to do so.

Roundtuit  
#28 Posted : 07 September 2017 22:38:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

What is truly scary is the inappropriate use of the title "Consultant" unfortunately our profession and the much wider field of employment has allowed its use to represent a much larger body of individuals well beyond standard dictionary defintion.

Hospital Consultants are defined by their speciality / Experts work in defined fields of a topic area.

Very few professional titles are defined and protected by law.

So Consultant/Director/Executive/Manager/Officer/Advisor/Dogsbody take your pick - it all depends upon the employers defined salary scaling.

Philip Nightingale  
#29 Posted : 08 September 2017 09:14:46(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Philip Nightingale

Hi Glennuk,

30 staff is still a significant number of people to take responsibility for, whatever anyone says. My concern for you would be more along the lines of whether your boss is just ticking a box by realising there's a need for a H&S Manager.

a few people have mentioned courses, but if i was looking at managerial responsibilities, I would see them as formulating policy, managing the structure and being a conduit for the workforce. All aspects which have responsibility!

In short, the IOSH Managing Safety is fine, but for me it's for managers who have a vested interest in the H&S of their staff. To fulfill the role of H&S Manager, i'd be looking to get the Gen Cert done then progress to the diploma or NCRQ or NVQ. there's a lot of responsibility and culperablility in being a H&S Manager and i for one dont want to go outdoors without knowing what the weathers going to be like (if you catch my drift) :)

billstrak  
#30 Posted : 15 September 2017 04:26:13(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
billstrak

Originally Posted by: Shopland23872 Go to Quoted Post
As all have said above I agree with. However the term health and safety officer is a generic term usually associated with a slightly more junior role.

But if you actually look at the definition below, an officer of the company is in fact a senior title. It may be worth showing this to your employer and discussing how senior the role is.

Section 2(59) of the Companies Act, 2013 defines “officer” to include any director, manager or key managerial personnel or any person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the Board of Directors or any one or more of the directors is or are accustomed to act.

My title is advisor, but my job is actually a H&S manager, but I am covered by a separate Directors and Officers insurance policy, to specifically cover myself and the directors due to my role. The title of manager must mean that you have unlimited access to a suitable budget and an agreed level of authority to perform the role (basically to act and manage without the need to seek permission from the directors) . If you do not have this access you can only be defined in the eyes of the law as an advisor.

I hope that this helps

Very good point and to add flame to the fire, the title of HSE Officer in many Middle Eastern countries means something quite different to UK. The title officer would automatically mean that you would be carted off to jail if a serious accident occurred on the site you were responsible for.......Far safer and smarter to have a job title with advisor in it

Zyggy  
#31 Posted : 16 September 2017 20:47:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Zyggy

Just to muddy the waters even more, at my last employment I was Head of Employee Development & Wellbeing with a team of H&S Advisers in the"Wellbeing" bit !
SteveL  
#32 Posted : 20 September 2017 14:26:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
SteveL

If you take the shilling then you take the risk that goes with it. 

Liability under section 37

1. Proceedings under HSWA s.37 will require proof of the following elements:

  • that the person accused is a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer, or a person purporting to act in any such capacity, or a member of a body corporate whose affairs are managed by its members.

 It is clear that the liability does not fix on any person because of the name that attaches to his/her role in the company, but because of the authority and responsibility that s/he has within it.

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