Founded in 1986
Employ over 80 people
ISO 14001 certificated
ISO 9001 certificated
ISO 45001 certificated
Leading experts in our sector
Totally independent company
Accredited by UKAS for air and water
Primary Authority (Co-ordinated partnership) Assured Advice certificated
Extensive Employers Liability, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance
Accredited by UKAS for our legionella risk assessments to BS 8580-1:2019
If profit and loss determine the financial success of an organisation, it is the culture that determines it from a legal, moral and reputational perspective. When done well, health safety and environmental compliance is an investment in all these areas, which is why Assurity Consulting is the UK's leading independent workplace health, safety and environmental consultancy.
Established for over 30 years we are the automatic first choice for responsible and ambitious organisations across 1000s of buildings, and we occupy a unique position in the marketplace by giving you:
- Truly independent advice and support – as we do not offer or provide remedial services, products or treatments, or cross-sell our services within a wider group, you can be assured of truly unbiased advice with no vested interest;
- Best in class accreditations – working to a standard or accreditation, is not the same as working from/achieving it. And having been amongst the first, and in some instances the only organisation, in our industry to achieve a range of them;
- Service focused and directly employed consultants – building long term relationships, trust and consistency of service is not something easily, if ever, achieved through an associate business model, so we don’t use one. All our consultants are directly employed and so have the freedom, time and responsibility to focus totally on your situation and your needs;
- A wealth of experience – our specialist consultants and subject matter experts cover everything from access to zinc whiskers (with asbestos, environment, fire, food safety, health and safety, Legionella, noise and indoor environment quality (air, water, comfort) along the way). Producing over 4,000 reports a year, we have worked in 1,000’s of buildings across the UK and beyond, so the chances are we’ve already delivered the successful solution you might be looking for;
- Understanding of your needs - the detailed information and impartial advice we provide helps you demonstrate that your organisation is compliant, your employees are safe and comfortable, your processes are cost-effective, and your management team can be confident that you are in control of your workplace compliance; and
- Support when and where you need it – with our own UKAS accredited laboratory and an entire in-house team providing support services to you, we pride ourselves on building trust, being there when you need us and mutually beneficial working relationships.
Who we are
Frequently asked questions
Workplace comfort and indoor air quality are important issues for today’s employees, and there is an increasing amount of legislation in these areas that are open to misinterpretation. This has led to much confusion over what needs to be done in order to comply with legislation whilst making sure that safe air and a healthy environment are provided for staff.
There is currently no legal requirement to have an air quality monitoring regime in place within your workplace. However, there are legal stipulations as to office environment provided to your staff and occupants. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations state that ‘Effective and suitable provision shall be made to ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air’. Section 6 details that ‘Enclosed workplaces should be sufficiently well ventilated so that stale air, and air which is hot or humid because of the processes or equipment in the workplace, is replaced at a reasonable rate.’ Additionally, ‘The air which is introduced should, as far as possible, be free of any impurity which is likely to be offensive or cause ill health.’
Section 7 of the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations states that the ‘temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable’.The HSE have guidelines as to the recommended lower temperature parameters. Conversely, no meaningful figure is given to the upper indoor temperature parameter, only that employers have an obligation to ensure that it is ‘reasonable’.
The document EH40 contains the list of workplace exposure limits for use with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. These are the legal limits set by the HSE at which individuals should be exposed to at work, ranging from dust to carbon dioxide.
So although there is no legal requirement to have an air quality monitoring regime in place, it will provide you with the key evidence needed to demonstrate that you are complying with legislation and making sure that a healthy environment is provided to staff.
If you are the person, or employer, in overall control of a building or a project, then yes, you are responsible for making sure that the noise risks are assessed and that the information on noise is made available to all affected employers.
You have a responsibility to work with your contractor, or any other employer who is affected by the noise, to make sure that any identified noise control measures are carried out. This includes identifying areas where hearing protection must be worn, and ensuring appropriate signage and information is in place. You also have a responsibility to provide instruction and training to your contractors in relation to the specific work they are doing for you. However, health surveillance (hearing tests) need only be provided by the direct employer of the workers affected.
Similarly, if you have mobile workers that may be exposed to noise at premises outside of your control, you do still have a responsibility to assess the risks and put any necessary control measures in place.
Employers need to communicate with each other to ensure that they are all meeting their obligations to protect workers’ hearing. You should never assume that someone else has already assessed the risks.
Related services: Noise Risk Assessments
Legionnaires' disease The control of legionella bacteria in water systems, Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations (L8) 2013 sets the current requirements for Legionella management including risk assessment.
L8 applies “to the control of Legionella bacteria, in any undertaking involving a work activity managed by you or on your behalf. It applies to premises controlled in connection with a trade, business or other undertakings where water is used or stored; and where there is a means of creating and transmitting water droplets (aerosols) which may be inhaled”.
We offer Legionella risk assessments, accredited through UKAS, together with award-winning management systems, written schemes, training and support. Our own in-house laboratory, our sampling and testing are also UKAS accredited, providing you with complete peace of mind.
A fire strategy is a document that sets the basis for fire safety control measures from the design of a building. It demonstrates compliance with Building Regulations, covering means of fire detection, warning and escape, the internal fire spread (linings and structure), the external fire spread as well as accessibility and facilities provided for the fire service. Typically, a fire strategy will be produced at the design stage in conjunction with architectural plans and is required as part of a building control submission. The document will also provide details of occupancy levels permitted within the building against the provision of horizontal and vertical means of escape and levels of compartmentation.
The requirement for a fire strategy is not only applicable to new-builds, but they can also be produced for existing buildings. These are often known as ‘retrospective fire strategies’. Fire strategies of this kind are often carried out in accordance with PAS 911. This document provides guidance on the recommended process to follow and provides guidance on property protection, environmental factors, the safety of life and business continuity.
A fire strategy document forms an essential basis on which to conduct the Fire Risk Assessment. This will allow the ‘responsible person’ to plan, manage and co-ordinate the appropriate fire safety precautions to minimise the risk of fire and ensure the safety of occupants.
Fire strategies can only be produced by qualified and competent fire engineers. Further detail can be found on The Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) website under ‘find a UK fire engineer’ directory.
Related services: Fire Safety
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Frequently asked questions
- It may no longer be valid.
- There have been changes made to the area/s under your control e.g. structural changes, new installations.
- You have had a fire or near miss.
- Findings from a fire evacuation drill identify the need for a change.
The control measures for your hot and cold water services, such as temperature or chemical treatment levels, are consistently recorded out of the site-specific parameters. A thorough review of the system and treatment regimes should be carried out, and necessary action should be made. For example, increasing the frequency of testing to provide early warning of loss of control, which could then be reviewed again once control has been regained.
There is a high risk of host susceptibility of legionellosis within the building e.g. healthcare facilities or care homes.
There has been a suspected or identified outbreak of legionellosis.
It has been recommended within your Legionella risk assessment. Your Legionella risk assessment will determine the risk of your domestic water services, and depending on the findings, a recommendation to implement a sampling regime may be made.
There is no legal frequency at which ventilation systems must be cleaned.
However, under the Health & Safety at work Act etc 1974, and the Occupiers Liability Act, an employer has a duty of care to make sure that a safe and healthy environment is provided for employees and occupants. Therefore, as an employer or landlord, it is your responsibility to make sure that the air being supplied to the environment meets the requirements as set out in for example the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) regulations 1992 (Regulation 6) and L24 – The Approved Code of Practice attached to the regulations which states “The air which is introduced should, as far as possible, be free of any impurity which is likely to be offensive or cause ill health”.
Cleaning a ventilation system is a drastic and expensive measure in maintaining a good standard of indoor air quality. Thankfully, ventilation systems in fact rarely require cleaning to make sure of good air quality; therefore, it tends to be more cost effective for employers and landlords to monitor the air being supplied. This can clearly demonstrate the cleanliness of a ventilation system, compliance with regulations, and identify any potential issues which may need attention.
The Health and Safety at Work Act section 2(3) and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 article 9, both require employers with 5 or more employees to provide a written risk assessment for significant risks and review them those risks.
The responsible person for the premises (the individual identified as having control over part or all of the premises) must regularly review and keep it up to date.
Your fire risk assessment must be reviewed if:
There has been a change to the type of work being done on the premises that may affect areas under your control e.g. introduced a manufacturing process to an office environment.
Changes to the types of persons employed, you are now employing workers with disabilities or young workers e.g. introduced staff covered under the equality act.
Your independent fire risk assessor would advise a review date. It is good practice to fully review a Fire Risk Assessment every two years if this has not needed to be done in the interim.
Related services: Fire Safety
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Section 2(3)) states “It shall be the duty of every employer to prepare and as often as may be appropriate revise a written statement of his general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of his employees and the organisation and arrangements for the time being in force for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of all of his employees.”
However, if you have fewer than five employees, you do not need to have your health and safety policy written down.
There is no formal requirement to sign a policy, but as the purpose of the document is to demonstrate management from the top, most organisations do. The example policies on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also have boxes for signature.
It is far more important that the policy and arrangements are shared and implemented (for which top drive is usually needed). You can have a beautifully documented and signed policy, however, if it isn’t shared and implemented it, means little legally or organisationally.
No, unless there is evidence that control measures are not being consistently achieved, it has been recommended in your Legionella risk assessment or it forms part of a more integrated performance review/audit.
A microbiological monitoring regime should be implemented if:
Where microbiological monitoring for Legionella is considered appropriate in hot and cold water systems, sampling should be carried out in accordance with BS 7592 Sampling for Legionella organisms in water and related materials. The complexity of the system will need to be taken into account to determine the appropriate number of samples to take and where to take them from.
To ensure the sample is representative of each water system and not just of the water downstream of a fitting or valve, samples should be taken from separate outlets to obtain a true hot or cold water temperature and sample rather than from mixer taps, or thermostatic mixing valves (TMV). Samples should be clearly labelled with their source location and whether they were collected pre-flushing or post-flushing.
It is important to remember that, as part of an integrated performance review/audit a sampling regime for your water services demonstrates a pro-active approach to the management of Legionella risk.
Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) regulations 1992, each employer has a duty for “an adequate supply” of “wholesome” drinking water for their employees (Regulation 22). The strict guidelines for what constitute wholesome drinking water are set by the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2018 and the Water Supply (Water Quality) (Scotland) Regulations 2010. These detail what, if any are the permissible levels of chemicals and micro-organisms in water intended for drinking. This includes indicator bacteria, such as coliforms, that might suggest other more harmful bacteria such as salmonella may be present in the water too.
Achieving compliance comes down to following the guidelines and regulations to make sure the cleanliness of outlets and water systems. Cleaning procedures should comply with manufacturers specifications and be reviewed to make sure they are effective. It is important for those responsible to be aware of hygiene standards and sanitising procedures to prevent the growth of bacteria and maintain a wholesome supply of water.
Related services: Water Quality and Hygiene Management
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