The importance of health and safety in the workplace

It’s all too easy to dismiss the notion of health and safety as an unnecessary hassle when dealing with the day to day management of your business. What many people fail to realize is that by having a proactive health and safety policy in place, you are in fact maximizing the potential of your staff, protecting yourself against profit-loss, and ultimately practicing good business sense. Rather than treating core health and safety procedures as an unnecessary interruption to your day, you should instead be taking regular looks at your action-plans and systems. Not only will this make your employees and customers safer, it also adds an extra layer of protection to your business that you will rapidly become aware of in the event of an emergency.

The damage to your profit

Even if you forget about the potential financial losses caused by a lawsuit, having a suitable health and safety policy can save you money in a variety of ways. By minimizing health issues, you have the added bonus of reducing the number of workdays lost to sickness or injury, meaning that your company is free to work at maximum efficiency. Having staff miss work due to avoidable incidents or exposure to illness is counter-productive, and leaves the remaining staff to increase their own workload. This leads to rushed work that doesn’t reflect the standards your business usually delivers.

It’s the law

 You can complain about red tape all you like, but there are health and safety laws in place to protect everyone who comes into contact with your business. Whether it’s customers visiting your store, drivers delivering your product or staff on the factory floor, creating a safe environment for all is not simply the ethical thing to do, it’s also a legal requirement that is there to protect them and you. It can be difficult to keep up with changing legislation, and for those that wish to optimize their health and safety protocols, attending a conference such as Safety 2018, will go a long way to ensuring that you are aware of your responsibilities. By keeping up to date with changing laws, you will be able to ensure that your business is fully compliant, lessening the risk of fines or workplace incidents.

Loyalty

 Safe staff are loyal staff. Creating a safe environment for your employees and paying attention to their concerns is a key way to ensure that you are creating the optimal working environment. If your employees feel that their health and their safety is an ongoing priority, then they are less likely to take absent days or quit altogether. If you incorporate safety procedures at every level of your company, not only do you minimize the legal risks, but you also show your employees that you take them seriously. This engenders a level of trust in their employer, which can increase motivation and therefore productivity.

Image: eroyka

Quality control

One of the effects of having a solid health and safety strategy in place is that they can also reduce unnecessary work. Simple solutions to issues, such as a tidy workplace or an unblocked doorway can increase efficiency in dramatic ways. The safer your work environment, the faster you can work without fear of injury, illness or even death. Safe places are clear of clutter, which in itself can promote work without distraction, all of which gives your profits a healthy boost. By investing time and energy in your health and safety management, your staff can focus on their roles, without worrying about extraneous issues. If you’re hoping to create a better product, a more efficient service and an increase in sales, then looking at your health and safety strategy is a good place to start.

Your reputation

It’s a simple fact that people will prefer to use a company that values its workers. Even if your primary reasons for tackling the health and safety issue are financial, you might be surprised by the need that many people have for using only those businesses that look after their staff. So as well as fostering a better work environment, you also raise the level of your company ethics, and that’s big business these days. Look at the recent news stories about workplace negligence, and you’ll be in no doubt that failing to look after your employees is an easy way to lose customers. If you’re not looking after the people that work for you, then what should a customer expect from you? By looking after your staff, you’re showing that you value them, which translates to a positive reputation and a more secure customer base.

Don’t wait for things to go wrong

In order to get the best results from your business, you need to make certain that your employees are aware of the health and safety policies in place. Although this can often mean time-consuming training sessions or educational programs, without incorporating health and safety awareness in your staff, you open yourself to loss. By looking after your staff you are also looking after your business, and your commitment to safety is a sure-fire way to show employees that they are more than just a number. Safe and happy staff will commit more, show more loyalty and work harder, meaning that with a little time-commitment of your own you can influence your bottom line in a positive and overall beneficial way.

There is more to health and safety that often springs to mind, and it is up to you as the employer to ensure that everyone you deal with is protected. Only by doing so are you able to optimize your business potential and create a streamlined and efficient business that maintains a good reputation and a better product. Failing to take your health and safety strategies seriously can mean a short, sharp shock in the future that could be the end of your business ambitions. By listening to staff concerns and learning about the changing laws, you can promote a positive and healthy workplace culture.

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