Health and safety is generally considered a massive pain for most business owners. It’s just a set of rules, most of which seem pretty extreme, that they have to spend time and money to make sure they’re following. Most businesses would jump at the chance to get rid of health and safety regulation entirely because it would make life so much easier for them. But health and safety wasn’t invented to make your life harder, it’s there for a reason. Next time you find yourself complaining about regulations and health and safety inspections, think about these reasons that you need to invest in it.
All Workplaces Are Dangerous
If you’re running a factory with a lot of heavy machinery in it, it’s obvious why you need health and safety regulations. But business owners that operate out of an office often think that health and safety regulations don’t really apply to them. The reality is, every single workplace is dangerous in its own way. Even in an office, you have to consider trip hazards, dangerous electronic products and the effects of sitting down at a desk all day. Even though it might not seem like your employees are at risk, they are. If you’re ignoring health and safety regulations, you’re putting them in danger every single day and that’s never good for business.
You Could Be Sued
This is your number one reason for adhering to health and safety policy; if you don’t, you could end up losing a lot of money. Any time that an employee is injured in your workplace, there will be an investigation. It’s up to you to create a safe workplace and avoid any unnecessary injuries and if you don’t, you’re liable to compensate anybody that gets hurt. If an employee gets injured because they were using equipment incorrectly or they were intentionally putting themselves in danger, that’s down to them. Otherwise, it’s down to you. It’s also worth noting that it falls to you to teach people to use equipment safely. If you don’t provide that training, you’re also liable.
That means if an employee gets hurt for any reason that isn’t directly their fault, they’ve got grounds to sue you for a compensation settlement. If the worst happens and somebody loses their life, their family are within their rights to contact a wrongful death lawyer and seek remuneration. If that happens, you’ll end up paying out a huge settlement and probably getting a big fine because you’ve broken health and safety regulations.
Losing Employees Costs Money
If an employee is injured at work, you could easily lose a load of money through settlements. But even if they don’t make a claim against you, that doesn’t mean it isn’t costing you anything. Losing an employee is an expensive business for a couple of reasons. If they’re off temporarily, you’ll experience a loss in the general productivity of the company because you’ll either have to get somebody else to fill that role alongside their existing duties, which means both jobs are being done with less efficiency. If you do hire somebody on a temporary basis, you’ll have to spend money on training them and they’ll never be as quick as somebody that’s been in the job for years. You’ll see a huge drop in productivity, all because you didn’t want to follow health and safety procedure.
Employees might also leave of their own accord if they don’t feel safe around the office. If somebody has had an accident and the rest of the staff feel that it was because of negligence, they’ll start to feel unsafe around the office. They might also think that you as an employer don’t care about their wellbeing. If that happens, you’ll soon see people starting to jump ship and find jobs elsewhere.
It Increases Productivity
Employees will stop working as hard and may even leave if they don’t feel that their employer cares about them, but if you show them that their safety is a top priority, you’ll get the opposite effect. Employees are at their best when they feel comfortable and safe and they feel as though their employer cares about them. If you’re not investing time and money into health and safety, they’ll get the opposite impression. By spending money on keeping the office safe and running regular training days, you can show your staff that you’re willing to go out of your way to make sure that they have a safe working environment and they’ll reciprocate by working a lot harder.
It Improves Your Image
Public image is vitally important for any company these days. One small slip up and it’ll go round on social media in a matter of hours and you’ll see a huge dip in sales. If somebody gets injured due to your negligence and failure to comply with health and safety laws, you’ll quickly become the villain. As soon as that information goes up online, it’s near impossible to get rid of that stain. But a company that follow health and safety laws to the letter is always going to have a good public image.
You Could Get Hurt
Your employees should always be your first concern but most bosses forget that these health and safety laws affect them as well. There’s no reason why you couldn’t be the one that ends up getting injured because you haven’t followed procedure. Even if you’re not convinced by the fact that it increases productivity and loyalty amongst employees, avoids lawsuits and stops you from losing valuable employees, it makes sense to follow procedure so you don’t end up getting hurt yourself.
Health and safety laws are a bit of a pain, everybody knows that, but ignoring them is never a good idea. If an employee gets hurt and it’s your fault, you lose a good staff member and risk having to pay a large settlement. On top of that, your public image suffers and you could easily see a big drop in sales. Remember that next time you’re moaning about health and safety.