Veny Have just completed (and had approved) all the relevant documentation to remain part of The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS)
Principles and Purpose
Each month thousands of contractors and consultants (suppliers) apply for work with public and private sector organisations (buyers). To win work, they must meet the buyer’s health and safety standards. Assessing suppliers health and safety competence is usually a lengthy and time consuming process. Suppliers can sometimes meet one buyer’s Health and Safety standards but not another. Being CHAS approved reduces duplication as suppliers compliance is accepted by all CHAS buyers. CHAS assesses applicants:
Health and safety policy statement;
Their organisation for health and safety;
Their specific health and safety arrangements to a standard acceptable to our buyers and to others.
In 1997 a group of health and safety and procurement professionals from across Great Britain worked with the Association of London Government (ALG) to develop CHAS. In 2001 CHAS became a web-based system. CHAS started with two main aims.
These days CHAS have more than 500 public and private sector buyer organisations, such as councils, housing associations, NHS trusts, including a growing number of large private companies who employ sub-contractors.
Participating in the CHAS scheme helps both suppliers and buyers.
Suppliers show compliance with important parts of health and safety law (the core criteria described in the CDM regulations).
On achieving compliance a supplier is approved to work for all of CHAS' buyers.(Some Buyers may require "Accredited" Status)
Inconsistencies are reduced where some suppliers may be judged compliant by one buyer but not another.
CHAS gives guidance on any weaknesses in a supplier's safety management, including how they can improve.
The Stages of Assessing Competency
There are three stages in the assessment process from the time a supplier applies for a CHAS assessment, through to working for a buyer:
The CHAS assessment: if a supplier passes this assessment they have shown they can adequately manage health and safety.
The employer (buyer) checks a supplier has the ability, experience and resources to carry out the specific work they have applied to do. The buyer will look at things like method statements, specific risk assessments, references, examples of previous similar work, training and available resources.
Monitoring the supplier when they are doing the work. Buyers will check suppliers are managing the work safely, carrying out the method statements properly, have enough resources, liaising properly, managing the site effectively and providing enough supervision.
The level of assessment at stages 2 and 3 are normally proportionate to the level of risk they carry. Buyers have a responsibility to monitor suppliers, making sure they are working safely, in order to protect staff and everyone who may be affected by the work.
The London Borough of Merton manages the scheme on behalf of its 500+ members. The management team consists of the Director for Corporate Services, the CHAS Scheme Manager, CHAS Client Support Manager, CHAS IT Systems Manager and the CHAS Business Development Manager. They are based at the Civic Centre in Morden and can be contacted on 0208 545 3838.
Who audits CHAS?
As a continued founder member status with the HSE supported Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) competence forum, is reliant upon continued annual accreditation by an Independent SSIP appointed Auditor who in turn, has been approved by the Health & safety Executive.
CHAS is also audited annually by the UKAS accredited certification body BM TRADA Certification to both the ISO9001 and ISO14001 standards, thus ensuring our quality and environmental management systems continue to deliver a high quality service and operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
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