Making sure that you carefully consider your current health and safety policy in your workplace every few months is incredibly important for the safety of your colleagues and employees as well as yourself, with the potential for both significant health and economic implications if you do not.
Across the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that over 30.7 million working days are lost every year due to workplace injury and work-related illness.
The cost of injuries and ill health as a result of poor working conditions is thought to cost each year a staggering £15 billion in total, as a result of an estimated 555,000 injuries at work, according to data provided by the Labour Force Survey.
We take a look at some of the main benefits of having sufficient health and safety regulations in workplaces, construction sites and even offices across the UK.
Saving Time with Good Health and Safety
When you have a sufficiently strong health and safety policy in place, it means that health and safety matters when they arise can be dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.
It is almost inevitable that at some point in time, a health and safety issue will arise, whatever the regulations that you have in place, therefore making sure that you have an adequate policy means it can be handled efficiently and properly, to everyone’s satisfaction.
The benefit of being able to handle a health and safety problem effectively is that it will also save you a considerable amount of time, as you will know exactly how the situation needs to be dealt with and when.
Protecting your Staff and Their Safety
There are various work-related illnesses and injuries you can prevent staff from experiencing by implementing good health and safety measures in the workplace. This also increases the likelihood of you being able to retain the most loyal and best trained employees. You can prevent things injuries from instances such as:
- Injuries from slips and trips
- Aches and pains from using display screen equipment
- Falls from height
- Back pain and musculoskeletal disorders
- Accidents that have occurred as a result of vehicles at work
- Work-related skin diseases
- Asbestos-related illness
- Impact of vibration and noise (more information about workplace noise surveys)
Reduced Threat of Legal Action for Injuries
If you are a business with more than 5 employees, it is a legal obligation for you to have a health and safety policy in place. Not having one means that you run a higher risk of legal action being taken against you and your company, as you could end up being fined for health and safety offences by the HSE.
In the most recent statistics for 2017/2018, the HSE, and in Scotland, its equivalent, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) prosecuted and fined companies for health and safety offences for nearly £72.6 million in total. Having legal action taken against your firm could also have huge implications for your business’s reputation, inhibiting your company’s success.
Clarification of Responsibility Around Health and Safety
Having a strong health and safety policy enforced in your workplace means that there is clarification of every employee’s responsibilities. Having a detailed health and safety policy means that all your employees will know exactly what they are responsible for in the office. This applies not only to themselves, but also to other colleagues in their workplace.
Boosting Staff Morale
By showing that your company takes pride in its safety, having a good health and safety policy in place, it shows that you care about you and your employees or visitors who come to your workplace, which has a direct impact on staff morale. It indicates that you take the health and safety of your employees seriously, and it helps them to also feel safe whilst in their place of work.
Strong health and safety policies provide a great deal of peace of mind with regards to employee and worker welfare. It also has an impact on increased productivity, as your staff will be able to carry out their tasks more easily and also more safely.
Another huge benefit of having effective health and safety regulations enforced is the effect it has on staff retention. You will be more likely to reduce staff absences as a result of accidents and illness at work and this means you not only save time, but you also reduce your overall costs.
There will be less need for you to spend time and money recruiting and training a new member of staff to simply replace someone who has become ill or injured as a result of poor health and safety regulations in the workplace.
Reducing Employee Sick Leave
In relation to staff retention, excellent health and safety measures will help to reduce the number of staff absences and amount of overall sick leave taken. This evidently has a clear advantage, as it means it reduces both direct and indirect costs of staff absences.
Reduced Insurance Costs for your Business
Another important reason it is beneficial to have good health and safety regulations in the workplace is that it can help to reduce the cost of your insurance premiums for your company.
It can also help to reduce the costs of any accidents that occur which are not necessarily covered by your insurance policy, such as production delays, repairs to equipment and sick pay. In some cases, uninsured costs can be far greater than insured costs and these have to be taken out of your company’s overall income.