For any company, the thought of a health and safety breach can be a terrifying and costly prospect. The good news is, they are almost entirely avoidable as long as you put the time in to implement a strong health and safety strategy for your business and manage the risks.
Maintaining sufficient health and safety at work is also your duty as an employer, under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. By putting in the right practices, you can remain compliant to employment law while protecting your staff.
Health and safety in business doesn’t need to cost the world or cause any added stress – and, most importantly, it can save you money and larger problems in the long run.
Here, we look over some of the ways you can create a cost-effective health and safety strategy and why it matters.
- The cost of poor health and safety
- Feeling secure at work
- Long-term solutions
- Focus on the positives
The cost of poor health and safety
Poor health and safety has a cost implication for any business – so by avoiding it, you will already be saving money.
The cost mostly comes in the form of employee absence and the knock-on effects of this. Direct implications of absences include the continuous payment of the employee’s salary and loss of output incurred by the absent employee. You may also have the cost of overtime from other employees covering for the absence depending on your company structure.
Some of the more indirect costs include, on a larger scale, loss of business, continuity disruption and reputation. There’s also the cost and time that it takes to recruit temporary and replacement staff. This can get extremely costly especially if you employ skilled workers and may need to use a specialist recruiter.
Finally, training new support staff can be costly and time consuming, which will also end up affecting business continuity long term. Taking steps to reduce absence will therefore reduce health and safety costs to business and help you to retain staff for maximum productivity.
That’s not to mention the risk of pay-outs or lawsuits if an employee were to be seriously injured in your workplace.
Feeling secure at work
There are several ways to help employees to feel safe at work and also methods to prevent the spread of illness like colds and flu. Maintaining good health and safety will reduce staff leave and increase motivation and productivity which will have a positive impact on the business overall – as well as reducing costs.
A simple and effective step to take is to provide health and safety training to employees. Make sure that you go through a company that follows government guidance with the most up to date content so that employees are well informed about their obligations and how to meet them.
Health and safety training ranges from working safely in an office environment but importantly, it covers other situations too. With ‘the new normal’ post-pandemic, more employees are choosing to work from home and with this, comes new responsibilities. Thankfully, training exists for all spaces, whether it is an office or a home setting so you can be at ease that your employees will feel safe no matter where they choose to work.
By ensuring every staff member is appropriately trained, you can access long-term safety, while also equipping your workforce with the knowledge they need to feel comfortable at work.
Other long-term solutions
One of the first things you need to do when implementing health and safety is conduct a risk assessment that identifies the areas of danger in your workplace. From here, you can refine exactly what measures you need and ensure that those you do offer the most protection for your money.
On top of staff training, one beneficial solution is hand hygiene. As you may have experienced already, setting up COVID-19 hand sanitiser stations can be costly, and the pumps can swiftly get clogged up by misuse or underuse. Buying hand sanitiser gel repeatedly can be costly and a little demoralising, but there are improved products on the market.
When looking at cost per use, there are alternative hand gels that dispense the right amount of liquid, for example the Orbel hand sanitiser. This product also comes as a clip-on accessory to each member of staff, enabling sanitisation anywhere, at any time, stopping the spreading of bacteria instantly.
With companies under more scrutiny than ever before to work harder on the sustainability aspect of their business, it can be a good idea to find health and safety solutions that reflect this and help you to meet green targets. Products like the above mentioned hand gel are sustainable as it is manufactured from recycled materials. Hand hygiene also has a direct impact on the sustainability and longevity of a business. Sustainability is a broad term that covers many different aspects of a company from raw materials through to how they approach their organisation’s resilience.
Withstanding new pressures to health and safety, such as adapting to the new norm following COVID-19, is all part of the greater blanket of sustainability and you can start by taking care of the engine behind your business, your employees.
There are a number of other low-cost solutions that workplaces can implement, including ventilation (opening doors and windows), reorganising of the workspace to allow for more distancing or even encouraging mask wearing. Having specifically trained health and safety marshals who oversee issues in the workplace can also be beneficial for remaining on top of things and identifying risks ahead of time.
Essentially, any measures you need to input into your workplace are likely to have a favourable cost implication as long as they keep your staff safe. While this may need upfront investment, the money and stress save will be worth it, especially when illness and injury can cost British workplaces billions of pounds in lost productivity.
Focus on the positives
Investing in the correct health and safety for your business will create an all-round more positive workplace. With a commitment to your employee’s health and safety, you are demonstrating that you care and have a considerate culture.
Since the pandemic, it is essential that this company culture for stringent health and safety remains consistent to ensure staff feel safe, happy and stay healthy, especially now that people are returning to normality. Increasing your company’s emphasis on health and safety goals following the pandemic will enable you to prevent outbreaks, protect consumers and ultimately, keep business running smoothly.
Better yet, it can maintain productivity and reduce the risk of absence and workplace injury, saving you vast sums of money in the long run.
If you need support in crafting a health and safety strategy for your business that is effective and cost-efficient, Protecta can help.
We offer solutions, including personalised hand sanitiser, that can help you limit transmission in your business, while enabling productivity.