Selecting a Safety & Health Consultant
Many individuals and organizations have entered the safety and health consulting field.  As a consumer of these services, we believe that it is important that you have a good understanding of how to evaluate services offered.  There are a number of professional consulting organizations who have qualified staff members and provide good service, but there are also many organizations or individuals with whom we compete who are not adequately staffed or qualified to provide these services.  We have provided an evaluation matrix for your assistance.

Does the consultant hold appropriate designations and educational background to provide these services?

Our staff is highly credentialed. The most accepted, bellwether certifications include CSP (Certified Safety Professional) for aspects related to safety and the CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) for issues of occupational health exposures.  The safety & health field has many “off-brand” certifications which can be confusing to consumers. At last count, there were over 350 safety and health related certifications, but only 30 are issued by accredited entities (Source: The Synergist, Vol 25. No 1). In addition, there are several providers of “junk” degrees which individuals may obtain to appear qualified.  Check out what's that certification mean?  If you are engaging a safety or environmental health consultant, you should assure that CSP and CIH resources are available and will review work performed. 

What resources does the consultant have to support you?

Unlike many individual consultants working from their home, we are part of a larger organization.  As a result we have robust, professional management and support services.  This allows us to focus primarily on service delivery and customer satisfaction.  In addition to the full-time staff of High EH&S Consulting Ltd., we have access to the resources of the High Companies.  Because our staff is larger, we are able to be responsive to requests when they are received and provide a broader multidisciplinary approach to resolving issues.

Will the provider be available in the future?

Individuals who decide to "try their hand" at consulting very often find that consulting is a very demanding and difficult business.  Generating sales, providing services and handling the books often result in a new consultant determining that more money, benefits and stability is offered in a traditional safety position.  This leaves their customers without continued and steady support to their safety and health programs. We have been in business as a family company since 1931 and the consulting arm was established in 1997. We are here and intend to stay in the business so that you can rely on us when you need us.

What quality provisions are in place?

High EH&S Consulting, Ltd. is committed to customer satisfaction as a way of doing business.  We conduct customer or participant evaluation reviews at the completion of our training or services.  These are used to refine our service to our clients.  Each consultant is responsible for maintaining a high level of client satisfaction.  We ask our clients to provide feedback to us.  On a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (superior) we seek to maintain a customer satisfaction level of at least 4.6 as a group and individually by consultant. We guarantee our training services with an iron-clad promise which reduces or provides our service free of charge if we don't perform adequately (details in proposal). 

Does the consultant carry appropriate insurance coverage to perform this type of work?

Many individual consultants and even organizations offering consulting services are not properly insured for the work they perform.  The primary coverage for safety and health consulting groups is professional liability.  But the consultant should also carry general liability and workers compensation insurance.  You should demand to see certificates of insurance (COI) for ALL of these lines (P/L, G/L and W/C).  In addition to the liability insurances listed, we carry a $10 million umbrella policy. Ask for our current COI's for details.

Does the price reflect the appropriate value?

We are focused on high-quality and long-term relationships that go beyond the term of the contract.  We provide on-going telephone and e-mail support and can serve as a sounding board or provide a second opinion when needed – usually at no charge. We try to go the extra mile, by continuing to provide consultation to our clients AT NO CHARGE for limited scope reviews and inquiries.  In this way you are 'buying' much more than just the outcome of a single project.  

We try to provide competitive pricing in the market. Our personnel are more qualified and experienced than many of our competitors and as a result, you get what you pay for.  We carry appropriate insurance and make efforts to follow tax and licensing requirements of which many other consultants are completely unaware. We often are not the lowest cost option because of the quality of our staff and our work. We do not intend to be the lowest cost option, as this would require us to use personnel who are not properly experienced or qualified.  

Consider that in most training services, the value of the time that people are away from their jobs far exceeds our contract cost.  Therefore, it is important to maximize their time with effective training.  We price our services based on the market rates, our expenses, and the types of service being provided.  

How prices are provided to you can also mean that the perceived cost is very different from the final the actual cost.  An hourly rate which is low may be attractive, unless excess hours are used to perform the work.  Ask what additional charges may be incurred.  Consultants should be able to clearly define the scope of work and provide a total cost for the project. In some cases time and material (T&M) proposals are required because the total scope of the project is not known until it is more fully evaluated.  Be clear about the outcomes you are seeking with the project. 

We have addressed issues in under an hour where other consultants have spent hours and thousands of dollars trying to solve a client's problem without resolving the issue. Placing a qualified resource onto a project is often much less expensive than placing an unqualified resource on your project.  If you wish to protect your workforce with the least qualified and lowest cost provider then we will not be a fit for your organization.  If budget constraints exist, we may be able to adjust various aspects of the service to help meet your needs.  We can design a service to your budget.  If prices between consultants seem very different, it is likely that the scope or project quality will also be very different. In some cases, we find unqualified consultants over-charging clients and providing a sub-standard outcome. This is more prevalent in the environmental health field.

 Evaluation Points   High EH&S           Other
Does the organization / individual hold main-line, recognized certifications such as Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), as appropriate for the work to be performed?Yes - All of our managers hold primary safety certifications and oversee work projects 
Does the company have the experience and expertise in performing this type of work?                                    Our team has provided a wide array of services in many different industries. Ask us for details. 
Does the company hold (1) Professional Liability; (2) General Liability and (3) Workers Compensation Insurance coverage?  What are the limits?Yes - In addition we carry umbrella insurance above and beyond these limits. 
What is the depth the of the knowledge of the provider?  Review the resumes of those providing service.   
Our team members hold multiple degrees and certifications. Detailed bios are available. We test all candidates and provide for continuing education. 
How does the company monitor quality of its output?        Peer reviews and customer quality surveys are used to track performance. 
Does the company maintain its own equipment for supporting your organization?                We maintain a wide selection of air monitoring equipment, noise dosimeters and other testing equipment.  
 Will the consultant be available when you call?        We offer emergency contact procedures and provide availability to reach someone in our group daily.