How to Choose an Occupational Safety and Health Consultant



Before hiring an occupational safety and health (OS&H) consultant, it is important to do your research. This research should include:

  • Gathering information on the types of services the consultant offers and what you are looking for in a consultant.
  • Investigating their qualifications and experience in the OS&H field.

Doing the necessary research will help ensure that the consultant you choose is a good fit for your company.

Identify the type of safety and health consulting services you need

Once you have determined your need for an occupational safety and health consultant, the next step is to identify the specific safety and health consulting services you require. There are many types of safety and health consulting services available, so it is important to determine which services are most appropriate for your organization.

The primary areas of expertise for occupational safety and health consultants include:

  • Conducting risk assessments in order to identify potential hazards in the workplace and develop action plans to reduce risks
  • Developing safety policies and procedures that align with local, state, and federal standards
  • Auditing to ensure compliance with applicable regulations
  • Creating ergonomic assessment reports as well as recommendations for hazard prevention
  • Assisting with writing comprehensive emergency plans, securing necessary permits and assuming responsibility for hazardous materials management.

The scope of services offered by a consultant will vary. Consequently, it is critical to identify which features are most pertinent to your organization so you can select the best individual or firm who will meet or exceed your expectations. Additionally, depending on your needs and budget you may choose a consultant who specializes in only one or two service areas or opt for a full suite of services.

Research available safety and health consultants

When selecting an occupational safety and health consultant, it’s important to do some research first. Consultants should be knowledgeable in all aspects of safety and health management, including safety standards, safety program development and implementation, hazard identification and control measures, communication plans, training programs and more.

To determine which consultant best meets your company’s needs, evaluate the experience of each one you consider. Check to see whether they have experience with similar organizations or in industries related to yours. Ask for references from past employers or clients. Talk with the references about their experiences working with the consultant and how effective their services were.

In addition to the qualifications of the consultants themselves, look into their accessibility after the job is completed. You need someone available to update you on changes in regulations or practices that can affect your organization if needed in the future. It also helps if they are experienced enough to provide advice when unanticipated problems occur during a project.

It’s also essential that your chosen occupational safety and health expert is available 24/7 so you can have access to their expertise quickly if an emergency arises requiring immediate attention or if a significant issue affects your operations on a weekend or holiday. Finally, make sure there is agreement between consultation fees before signing on with any provider; ask if there are any unexpected costs that may arise while they are working on your project.

Check references

When vetting potential occupational safety and health consultants, be sure to confirm the credentials of the organizations they have worked with in the past. While experience and expertise are important factors, the most important criteria when selecting an OT&H consultant should be their proven track record of successful consultation and risk management solutions. Ask for references from current or recent clients then follow up with them directly. Request information about specific projects as well as overall satisfaction with the safety and health results achieved. Doing your due diligence ahead of time is essential for finding a successful partner who will be able to meet your needs today and into the future.


When looking for an occupational safety and health consultant, it is important to look for a consultant that has the right qualifications. A qualified occupational safety and health consultant should have a degree or certification in Occupational Safety and Health or a related field. They should also have several years of experience in the field and should be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to provide a quality service.

Ensure the consultant is certified

When selecting an occupational health and safety consultant, it’s important to ensure the professional has the appropriate qualifications and certifications. All reputable consultants should have professional certifications related to the specific field of consulting they are practicing in.

The certifying organizations vary slightly by country and may include: Certified Safety Professionals (CSP), Association of Occupational Medicine Technicians (AOMT) or Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH). In addition, consultants should be experienced practitioners with a verifiable background of providing quality advice and practical solutions related to work health and safety. Furthermore, it is recommended that the consultant be affiliated with a professional body that represents safety consultants across various industries for continued mentoring, networking and support.

Some additional qualifications to look for when assessing a consultant include:

  • accredited consultant status
  • postgraduate degrees in occupational health or safety-related areas
  • recognized industrial training courses completed
  • reviews from past employers or clients
  • access to reference material resources such as simulations or industry databases
  • accessibility to expert witnesses if needed etc.

By confirming that your potential consultant meets all of these requirements you can rest assured you will receive reliable advice and have confidence that they have the knowledge base necessary to help create safer working environments within your organization.

Check the consultant’s experience and qualifications

When selecting an occupational safety and health consultant, it will be important to look for someone with the relevant experience, qualifications, and skills necessary to effectively assess your workplace’s safety and health risks. Some key qualifications you should consider include:

  • Experience: Consultants should have appropriate experience in assessing hazards, implementing risk management strategies, evaluating compliance with regulatory requirements, training staff in safety and health practices and maintaining records.
  • Qualifications: Safety consultants typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety or related field. Many also hold a professional certification such as those offered by the National Safety Council or Safety Management Council. It is important to verify the credentials of any consultant you plan to hire.
  • Skills: Technical knowledge of hazardous materials, conditions that can cause illness or injury, risk assessment techniques (such as Analysis Hierarchy Process) as well identification of control methods are all useful skills for a successful consultant to possess. Furthermore, interpersonal skills such as good communication capabilities and team building will enable them effectively work with both employers and employees for positive results.


When selecting an occupational safety and health consultant, cost can be a major factor in the decision-making process. You’ll need to understand the services the consultant provides, the costs associated with them, and any potential savings or other benefits that can be gained by using the services.

You should also take the time to weigh the potential costs and benefits of an occupational safety and health consultant in order to determine what the most cost effective solution is for your business:

  • What services does the consultant provide?
  • What are the associated costs?
  • What potential savings or other benefits can be gained?

Get quotes from a few consultants

Once you have identified a few potential consultants, it is time to get quotes for their services. Keep in mind that the price is not always a good indicator of quality – you need to consider the experience and qualifications of the consultant before making your decision. A good consultant will also provide references from previous clients and talk about any challenges they faced in similar projects.

Since occupational safety and health consultants may have different fee structures, make sure to get clarity on what exactly is included in the quote that you receive. Ask about fees for additional services, such as on-site visits or follow-up calls. It is also important to find out if there are any limitations or restrictions related to payment schedules or certain types of services.

Reviewing written contracts can help ensure that everyone involved has an understanding of expectations, scope and cost. If a consultant’s contract looks excessively complicated or vague, be willing to walk away from the deal before signing it – it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to working with a new professional partner!

Compare the cost of services

Cost should be considered an important factor when selecting an occupational safety and health consulting service. Each potential consultant’s cost will vary depending on their qualifications, expertise and experience. Some firms may charge a flat fee while others may charge an hourly rate. Depending on the scope of the project, you could face a large up-front cost or have limited out-of-pocket expenses throughout the assignment.

Make sure you understand exactly what services and fees are included in each proposal before obtaining any bids so that you can determine which one is the most affordable for your needs. Ask for references from past clients to evaluate the quality of their work and to find out if it was worth the cost.


When selecting an occupational safety and health consultant, it is important to focus on the way they communicate. Communication is essential to having a successful work relationship. You should look for a consultant who is able to communicate openly and effectively with their clients. This includes not just the ability to provide clear instructions, but also being able to listen to the clients’ needs, answer their questions and offer solutions. This will help ensure that any safety and health plans implemented meet the demands of the clients and their individual needs.

Ask questions to assess the consultant’s communication style

When deciding on an occupational safety and health consultant, communication is essential. You need to make sure the consultant can communicate highly technical information in an understandable way to your staff. The consultant should take the time to understand you and your company’s goals and objectives before offering any advice.

You should assess the consultant’s communication skills in a few key areas before making a decision. Start by asking questions that help you determine how they communicate with their current clients:

  • Do they provide clear explanations when discussing safety issues?
  • Do they listen to the client’s views and take those into account?
  • How do they handle difficult communications such as those with management?
  • Do they encourage open dialogue among team members when sharing ideas?
  • Are any presentations or training materials well organized and easy to follow?

A great occupational safety and health consultant will have established processes for fostering transparent, concise, and effective communication. Asking questions up front will ensure that collaboration is efficient throughout your project. You should also look for signs of their willingness to innovate and use technology appropriately such as video meetings, webinars, or live update tools. Finding a consultant who understands your situation is critical for successful communication so be sure to take the time to select the right one for you.

Ensure the consultant is available when you need them

When selecting an occupational safety and health consultant to assist your business, one of the most important criteria to consider is their availability. Ensuring that the consultant will be available when you need them, or at least able to provide timely advice and assistance is critical for any organization.

Look for a consultant that responds promptly to communications, if possible someone who does not carry a large caseload so there’s no waiting around for help when assistance is needed urgently. Make sure you understand how the consultant charges and any out-of-hours fees, particularly those charged during evenings and weekends. This will ensure you have all the answers before making a decision on which consultant best fits your needs.


Choosing an occupational safety and health consultant is a critical step in ensuring a healthy and safe workplace. The most common way of engaging such a professional is through a contract. A contract outlines all the details of the job and helps protect the rights of both parties involved. Let’s take a closer look at what is typically included in such a contract.

Read the contract thoroughly

Before you sign any contract with an occupational safety and health consultant, it is important to read it thoroughly. The contract should include the scope of services, rate of compensation, and terms of agreement. You also need to make sure that all parties involved in the consulting process are clearly identified in the contract.

Make sure you understand all the legal language used and that all areas of concern are addressed. Pay attention to the details about payment requirements, resolution methods in case of discrepancies, termination clauses, and personal liability protection for both parties. Also check if there are any requirements such as standards or specific safety laws that need to be met by your consultant or their team members before they can be recruited for your project. Lastly, ensure that all intellectual property rights are clearly outlined so that there is no question regarding who gets credit for any inventions or discoveries made during the course of the project.

Negotiate the terms of the contract

Ensure that the contract clearly outlines all services to be provided, the timeline of completion of the agreed scope of works, and payment terms. It should also include the scope of liabilities and responsible persons for performing on task or contractual obligations.

Agree on a reasonable scale for charging overtime, as unexpected circumstances and extra hours may arise during a consulting project. Be sure to negotiate all contingencies that may affect billing and payment. If a consultant doesn’t have specific provisions in place for certain unexpected occurrences, spell them out in writing in the contract so that both parties are clear about who is responsible for their cost implications or additional obligations. Additionally, if your consultant is to work in conjunction with other contractors or outside organizations anywhere in the world, state these conditions clearly in the contract as well.

The contract should also include specifics regarding confidential information and intellectual property; clarify any restrictions your consultant has regarding using any information acquired while working with you—regardless of whether they continue working with you or not. It’s advisable to seek legal advice before negotiating a job contract to ensure your interests are protected when hiring an occupational safety and health consultant.

Make sure the contract covers all services you need

Before signing on with a consultant, read the contract carefully to be sure it covers all of the services you need and includes any special terms or conditions. Make sure to address issues such as:

  • How long the contract will last
  • The consult’s hourly rate
  • Deadlines, termination and completion dates
  • Payment structure and payment schedule

In addition, make sure you understand what type of work is included in their fee and whether they offer any guarantees on their work. Also ensure that you’re clear on who will be responsible for verifying the accuracy of results or furnishing reports to OSHA or other regulatory agencies. Finally, find out if they provide a confidentiality agreement or other legal protection in case material shared with the consultant is later used against you.

Working with an Occupational Safety and Health Consultant should provide peace of mind that your best interests are being met; however it’s important that both parties have a thorough understanding of the commitments being made prior to signing onto a working arrangement.