Can managing health and safety make my business successful?
A question that has probably been thought about by managers and senior figures in their organisation, but whether it made it as an agenda item at the monthly meeting is arguable.
So let me give you the reasons how managing health and safety can make you more successful.
We have three very good reasons to manage health and safety in the workplace:
1. Moral reasons
We should not be letting employees become ill or injured in the workplace. It costs society upwards of £14 billion every year to help people recover from workplace accidents. We all know we have to provide a safe place to work, but once we have ticked the box, that doesn’t mean we can simply ignore it afterwards. We have to ensure everyone is on board with our safe working methods, getting them involved in policy making, risk management and developing safe working procedures will ensure they are fully engaged in our methods.
2. Financial reasons
There can be some investment responsibilities here, but if we measure the ‘cost versus the consequence’ we can determine the level of financial investment required. This can include training courses, newer and better work equipment or machines, or by simple information, instruction and supervision that doesn’t have to cost the earth can make a big difference to help towards working safely and efficiently.
Any accident in the workplace will have a financial consequence, a small accident can result in lost time to the business which can inadvertently affect productivity and profits. Investigation time can take people away from their normal day to day job, people may need to be trained to replace the injured person, others may have to increase their workload to cover the injured person and so we can see how we come up with the £14 billion figure.
3. Legal reasons
We have to follow statute law, the Acts and Regulations derived by Parliament that are provided for us to set our own health and safety objectives and follow to ensure we are meeting the compliance needs of legislation and to avoid criminal and/or civil prosecutions and convictions.
The employer is legally responsible for welfare, health and safety in the workplace and we use the term, ‘so far as is reasonably practicable,’ which is why we can set our own objectives otherwise known as ‘goal-setting’ safety management, so as long as what we do is compliant, our workplaces should be safe places to work.
Bear in mind the new sentencing guidelines for all prosecutions that came out early last year, we have already seen huge rises in prosecutions and fines for company directors for failing their workforce in health and safety. For example, The Merlin group, the owners of Alton Towers were fined £5million for a safety failing that resulted in two people suffering amputations following the ‘Smiler’ ride incident. Smaller businesses are seeing more six-figure fines for minimal safety breaches because the potential of harm was much greater than the incident that occurred.
So if you don’t have an internally competent person who can help support your health and safety management, you must seek the advice from an expert external to your business, such as those employed at Quest, call 0333 240 7208 and ask to speak with a member of our team about your needs.