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How to become a safety consultant and start a business

Jan 16, 2024 · 5 minutes to read

Health and safety are concerns for many U.S. businesses, regardless of their size or industry. However, many businesses don’t have the budget to hire a full-time safety management consultant. That’s where you come in.

Top view of consultants wear safety helmet in new project meeting.

Your expertise could be put to work as a freelance health and safety consultant. Here’s an overview of how to become a safety consultant and start your own OHS consultant business.

What is a safety consultant?

Health and safety consultants help businesses fill gaps in their knowledge so they can create a healthier and safer workplace. They typically work with businesses on a short-term basis, often for the length of a project or a specific period of time.

A safety consultant brings important expertise to the businesses they work with. Your knowledge of safety regulations can particularly be valuable to small businesses that may not have the time to stay on top of legal changes.

What does a safety consultant do?

An OHS consultant may help a business by:

  • Spotting risks
  • Ensuring projects comply with safety regulations
  • Creating safety manuals and procedures
  • Providing employees with safety training that meets regulatory requirements
  • Documenting safety hazards
  • Submitting OSHA forms
  • Informing businesses of changing safety regulations

How to become a safety consultant

Though the exact steps in your state may differ, to become a health and safety consultant, you will typically need to:

1. Complete your education and certification

Many safety management consultants get a degree in occupational health and safety or within the industry they plan to work in (engineering, biology, etc.). However, a degree may not be necessary, though it could help you attract clients.

Certifications may be required to work in specific industries or with some businesses. These certifications help establish your professional credibility. They can also show your ongoing commitment to refining your skills and staying on top of changes in legislation and industry best practices.

2. Gain work experience

Education and credentials are great, but most businesses will want to see that you have real-world experience to back it up. Working within a particular industry may be required. You might start in a non-health and safety role before moving into the safety space and eventually breaking out as an independent safety consultant.

3. Establish your business

Setting up a small business takes time and effort. Though the steps may vary from state to state, as a safety management consultant, you may need to:

  • Research the local market
  • Write a business plan
  • Choose a business structure
  • Register your business with a state or local government agencies
  • Apply for a business license and/or permits
  • Set up business bank accounts and secure funding

4. Consider business insurance

Safety consultants help businesses manage risks, and you may need to do the same for your business, too! Insurance is one way that consultants minimize the financial impact of lawsuits, accidents, and other events on their businesses.

There are many types of insurance that consultants often consider, including:

General Liability insurance protects businesses against the risk of customer injury and property damage. Visiting clients in their offices, worksites, your offices or in third-party locations are common for safety consultants. If you accidentally damage someone else’s property or cause an injury, your General Liability policy can help you cover your legal costs and compensation.

Professional Liability insurance protects you from claims raised due to unintentional mistakes made in the professional capacity.Your policy can also help you defend yourself against negligence claims made by an unhappy client, whether you are at fault or not.

A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is a combination of policies, combining covers such as General Liability insurance and business personal property coverage, to help protect small businesses from costly interruptions to service. This can be a convenient and affordable way to manage multiple risks that your business may face with a single policy.

5. Find clients

Creating a steady stream of clients can be a challenge for safety management consultants. You will likely use a variety of methods to ensure that new clients are finding your business and booking work with you.

OHS consultants often find clients through:

  • Past client referrals
  • Attending industry networking events
  • Advertising in industry publications
  • Setting up a website and social media profiles
  • Partnering with other consultants or industry professionals

Protect your safety consultancy today!

Health and safety consultants put their knowledge and experience to good use, helping businesses create safer workplaces. Whether you’re working as an OHS consultant, industrial safety consultant, or holding another title, you may want to consider protecting your business with insurance.

BizInsure makes it simple for busy safety consultants to get instant coverage online. In just 10 minutes, you can compare quotes from A-rated insurers and save. We even have licensed agents available to help you choose coverage that suits your needs.

Get free quotes and protect your consultancy today!

As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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