Why A Lax Attitude To Health And Safety Can Cost Your Business

Posted on written by Sam Barton

How seriously do you take safety in your workplace?

In some ways, health and safety has almost become a ‘dirty’ phrase. Something that stops us doing our jobs properly, however, the reality is that health and safety is there to ensure the wellbeing of your employees. While some measures might go slightly overboard – we have all read the ‘health and safety gone mad!’ headlines – it is a much-needed aspect of any business.

From 2015-16 144 people were killed at work in the UK and over 600,000 injuries occurred in the workplace over the same period.

Why does health and safety matter so much to your business?

Gaining Employee Trust

If your employee’s don’t trust you then how can you expect them to do their jobs effectively?

We don’t necessarily mean trust in your leadership abilities however we mean trust in taking their safety seriously. If an employee knows they are working in unsafe conditions or that their concerns are not being addressed then they will look for alternative employment or simply refuse to carry out their job.

If your staff don’t feel safe in the workplace then productivity and enthusiasm will decrease significantly.

Days Missed At Work

From 2014-15 there were 27.3 million days missed by employees in the UK as a result of workplace injuries or illnesses directly related to their jobs.

27.3 million.

That is a huge figure and shows just how big a problem there is when it comes to addressing health and safety. While not every injury is avoidable your business can lose valuable employee hours throughout the year which will have a direct impact on your business’ success. In small firms that are working on tight budgets and limited resources, this can be the difference between staying afloat and going under.

Managing Health and Safety Effectively

The good news is that many health and safety precautions are actually common sense.

In fact, communication (or rather the lack of communication) is one of the main reasons accidents in the workplace occur. If you haven’t explained the risks or provided training for your staff to either avoid or cope with an injury then the chances of accidents happening will increase.

Risk assessments are vitally important too and they are actually required by law.

We’ve actually blogged on the importance of risk assessments– Why Are Risk Assessments Important? – and identifying risks is the first step to better health and safety. When combined with proper training it will drastically reduce the number of accidents in the workplace.

Protecting Your Business

Remember when Foodles Productions, a Disney subsidiary – was held liable for Harrison Ford being injured when filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

Don’t let that happen to your business.

The company will probably pay a sizeable compensation claim and the average amount in the UK for a workplace injury is well into the thousands of pounds.

Even though workplace accidents and illnesses have decreased 18% in the last decade the risk is still there. Rather than putting your employees in jeopardy and therefore making your business liable for their injuries take proper safety precautions and ensure that all staff are up to date on workplace safety.

Your employee’s welfare isn’t the only thing at stake with a lax attitude to health and safety.

Health and safety at work

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The room size was just right. The facilities were comfortable and the refreshments were free flowing providing an environment that was perfect for concentration. The trainer (Robin) was excellent. He maintained a pace that everyone was able to keep up with, the subject matter was kept interesting, he was evidently… Read More »

Debbie Dowsett

On day 1, Keith described the three types of people that attend courses and I was identified as a hostage! Attending this course was a requirement and I will be honest, I had a mountain of paperwork on my desk and did not want to be there. By the end… Read More »

Dave Critchell – ARCS Environmental Ltd

I organised IOSH Managing Safely for staff all of whom enjoyed the 4 days and I am pleased to say all passed. I have had very positive feedback about Robin the trainer and the course has generated a great deal of discussion and thought . My contact Jo at PSS… Read More »

Peter Dickinson – East Hertfordshire District Council

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