Why Manage Health and Safety?
It is a big mistake to believe that accidents will never happen in your business or that health and safety only applies to larger or higher risk workplaces. Small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) are likely to have twice the number of fatal accidents compared to larger ones.
If you think your insurance will cover ALL the costs in the event of an accident in your workplace then think again. Insurance will pay for large compensation claims in the event of disabling injuries or serious damage to property but this may only be a small proportion of the overall cost. Many of the extra costs associated with an accident or illness not actually covered by your insurance policy may include:-
- sick pay
- wages of temporary workers
- loss of production
- repair to plant and equipment
- legal costs
- increased insurance renewal costs
These are referred to as the hidden or uninsured costs as they are not immediately easy to see or account for. However, the cost of these can have a serious effect on your business. It is estimated that these costs can be between £8 and £36 for every £1 covered by insurance.
Of course, as well as the financial reasons for managing health and safety, employers also have a legal and moral duty to do so. The law says that employers must control the health and safety risks to their workers and to others arising from the work activity. From a moral point of view, what employer would want to see an employee injured or becoming ill as a result of the work they were undertaking on the employer’s behalf? And imagine having to contact the family to let them know their loved one has been taken off to hospital or even worse.
But don’t panic. Putting good health and safety measures into practice does not have to be complicated, expensive or take a lot of time. Most practices that you put into place will be as a result of good health and safety management. It makes good business sense and can actually save you money. Your business will not only be safer, it will be one that can develop and thrive well into the future.
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