The only business case you will need for Health & Safety

Thankfully in the UK, notifiable fatal and serious injuries in the workplace are reducing.

However there are still more than one million injuries to workers annually and more than two million cases of ill health caused or made worse by work. Many thousands are still dying prematurely as a result of conditions such as occupational cancer.

The annual cost to the economy is in the region of £30billion.

Despite this scale of tragedy and loss, companies that are hard pressed, especially during tough economic conditions, may ask quite understandably why they should devote precious money — and even more precious time — to upgrading their health and safety management regimes.

No business wants its people to be injured or wishes to be prosecuted or served with enforcement notices by inspectors. With an increasing focus on corporate social responsibility, every conscientious business owner or senior manager wants to know that they have done everything they reasonably can to ensure safe and healthy working. No one wants an accident or work-related health issue on their watch.

But when it comes to investing in health and safety, it is not just a case of doing the right thing; it is underpinned by a very strong business case. Furthermore, although it might seem wholly counter-intuitive, that case is even stronger when times are tough than it is at other times. The reason is very simple: accidents and ill health caused by work (not to mention non-injury incidents which are much more numerous) impose massive — but largely unrecognised — costs on business.

THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE) HAS ESTIMATED THAT THE RATIO BETWEEN INSURED AND UNINSURED COSTS ARISING FROM ACCIDENTS LIES IN THE RANGE OF 1:8 TO 1:36. SO IN THE WORST CASE, FOR EVERY £100 RECOVERED FROM THE INSURER, THE BUSINESS LOSES ABOUT £3,600.

In the case of a very severe accident, such as a fire or loss of a key worker in a small firm, such an event could spell the end of the business altogether.

Not to mention the reputational damage having a severe accident can have on a business. Clients can leave, local media outlets will jump at the chance to make a good story. Nothing good comes from an accident, trust me.

Then we move onto the really negative connotations of accidents and ill health… The effect it has on the workforce. This is why having a good or positive safety culture can make or break a company. Workers become demoralised and basically CBA (can’t be arsed). They lose their mojo and their motivation. Then the work productivity slows right down. You lose all creativity and innovation within your business. Then the cycle of harm continues, when workers feel like this, they are far more likely to have an accident!

The process starts all over again.

Please take safety seriously. You don’t have to fork out a lot of money to keep people safe. As a minimum, get an audit undertaken and some simple procedures implemented- something this straight forward might cost you £2–3k, but think of the savings it can make further down the line!

I see it time and time again, don’t be another statistic.

Your safety is my priority,

Darren

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