February 12, 2015
Health and safety: why it pays to be proactive
When it comes to workplace health and safety, taking a proactive approach is essential. Unfortunately, far too many employers and managers wait until it’s too late before they respond to a risk – only after an accident or injury has occurred do they consider making changes. This approach can have a very damaging effect on businesses. Indeed, according to a study by Labour Force, around 23.5 million UK working days in 2013/2014 were lost due to work-related illness and 4.7 million days due to workplace injuries.
As well as reducing absenteeism, taking a more forward-thinking stance on health and safety can bring numerous long-term benefits to your organisation. If you want to learn more about how to promote a safe working enviornment, it’s worthwhile taking a look at sites such as www.sheilds.org to browse the wide range of training courses available.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at how being proactive pays off.
Dealing with, and recovering from, an accident can cause a lot of hassle for businesses. If an accident occurs and you haven’t planned for it, not only will there will be significant costs associated with putting additional health and safety procedures in place, you also risk disrupting productivity. If a member of your workforce is absent for a long time due to an injury or illness, this may result in you having to put work on hold before you find an appropriate solution.
What’s more, if the proper preventative measures have not been put in place and one of your employees suffers an injury, your business may be prosecuted and have to fork out for expensive court fees if a claim is made against you .
One of the main benefits of having a proactive health and safety management strategy in place is that it will help to promote a positive safety culture. The more time and money you invest in monitoring and controlling risks, the less chance there is of a serious accident occurring. Not only will this increase productivity by lowering the number of work days lost, it can also help to boost your bottom line by improving health and safety budgeting. For example, it often costs much less to have regular service check-ups for electrical equipment than it does to pay for repairs.
Making sure you keep up to date with health and safety legislation and keep a close eye on changes in the law will also lower the risk of your business facing fines, disqualifications and imprisonment.
A proactive health and safety management strategy involves thinking ahead and implementing control measures to minimise potential risks. This may require identifying hazards that have not yet occurred, as well as arranging the work needed to keep your employees safe. Proactive safety management strategies can include anything from regular inspections, audits, risk assessments to reporting near-misses and implementing ongoing staff training.
While this may be more costly and time-consuming in the short term, it can save your organisation time, money and effort in the long term.