Health and Safety Management Saves Money as Well as Lives
We seem to see so many tabloid reports labelled “Helath and Safety Gone Mad!” that we can be forgiven for thinking that many organisations use health and safety as an easy excuse to hide behind. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has attempted to counteract this with their Myth Busting Challenge Panel where they dispel some of the myths that are giving so many people a negative impression of health and safety. We actually published a blog post titled Work at Height Mythbusters back in October of last year. the truth of the matter is that good health and safety management can not only save lives, but save money too and we all need to work together to put the subject of health and safety in a more positive light.
We must all be heartily sick of the current economic climate at present and workplace injury and illness costs the British economy millions of pounds on an annual basis, so it’s in the interests of all of us to make the UK a safer place to work and live in. With an upturn in the economy on the horizon (especially in the construction industry), we need to be aware that good health and safety management leads to lower costs for businesses in every sector and this, in turn, can lower costs for our public services – a vitally important issue when we’re having to deal with so many cuts in funding for public services.
The HSE discovered that occupational health and safety failure cost Britain more than £13 billion in 2011 – 2012 and work related ill health cost another £8.4 billion. Most of this financial burden is picked up by individuals via loss of I ncome and rehabilitation costs while taxpayers are also making a significant contribution through an increase in health and social care spending.
Studies show that investing in occupational health and safety spending can reduce injury rates, reduce sickness absence and increase productivity. This sort of investment will also enhance an employer’s reputation – a massive 61% of workers say they would work harder for an employer who invested in their health. Studies demonstrate that organisations may obtain a significant return on investment in occupational health and safety, some showing returns 12 times that of investment.
Approaching health and safety management in a systematic manner makes managing business easier and more effective. If you work out the best way to handle each key activity in the workplace and ensure that everybody takes the same approach every time it will have the effect of reducing the number of mistakes and the costs of correcting those errors. This will also reduce the risk level and ensure that you are in compliance with health and safety legislation.
A pro-active approach to health and safety in the workplace is essential for business owners, whatever the industry, but is even more important in the construction industry which is where most accidents at work take place.