Good health and safety at work is important not only in human terms, to help reduce workers’ pain and suffering. It is also a way of ensuring that enterprises are successful and sustainable, and that economies thrive in the long term.
For most enterprises, simple cost benefit analysis will not be necessary or appropriate in this area. Businesses have moral Occupational Health & Safety obligations, as well as legal and financial ones. It is impossible to quantify costs such as suffering in monetary terms.
Nevertheless, there are quantifiable costs and benefits involved in OSH, which businesses should be aware of.
Getting Health & Safety Right!
For enterprises, good Health & Safety helps to:
• enhance ‘brand image’ and ‘brand value’ as a socially responsible business (which may affect investors’ decisions)
• reduce absences and increase the productivity of workers
• increase motivation and the commitment of employees to the business
• reduce business costs, such as insurance premiums, and business disruption
• enable enterprises to meet and exceed customer expectations.
Getting Health & Safety Wrong!
If businesses get Health & Safety wrong, the costs of accidents and ill-health can be substantial.
For the individual, there are the costs of care, loss of earnings etc.
For businesses, disruption, claims for damages, loss of goodwill and loss of confidence in management can sometimes lead to total collapse. For small companies particularly, occupational accidents can have a major financial impact.
So Why Invest in Health & Safety?
Research shows that investing in Health & Safety leads to better company performance.
A good working environment is good business.
All workers have a right to work in places where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled.
Health and safety is about stopping them getting hurt at work or ill through work.
What employers must do for employees
Decide what could harm them in their job and the precautions to stop it. This is part of risk assessment.
In a way they can understand, explain how risks will be controlled and tell them who is responsible for this.
Consult and work with them and their health and safety representatives in protecting everyone from harm in the workplace.
Free of charge, give them the health and safety training they need to do their job.
Free of charge, provide them with any equipment and protective clothing they need, and ensure it is properly looked after.
Provide toilets, washing facilities and drinking water.
Provide adequate first-aid facilities.
Report injuries, diseases and dangerous incidents at work to the HSE
Have insurance that covers them in case they get hurt at work or ill through work.
Display a hard copy or electronic copy of the current insurance certificate where they can easily read it.
Work with any other employers or contractors sharing the workplace or providing employees (such as agency workers), so that everyone’s health and safety is protected.
What employees must do
Follow the training they have received when using any work items the employer has given them.
Take reasonable care of their own and other people’s health and safety.
Co-operate with their employer on health and safety.
Tell someone (their employer, supervisor, or health and safety representative) if they think the work or inadequate precautions are putting anyone’s health and safety at serious risk.
If you would like to discuss how to improve the health and safety of your business then please feel free to contact us via our website www.anchorhands.co.uk