Health and Safety management is required by UK law. Any business, no matter how small, needs to meet health and safety standards. To stay on top of these standards in the long term, businesses should implement formal management processes.
Why Manage Health And Safety?
Statistics have shown that in the UK over 6000 people are injured at work each day, and at least one person will be killed. Hundreds of thousands of people each year take time off work because of a work related injury or ailment. It is estimated that around 30 million work days are lost as a result of something which can easily be managed.
Health and Safety Policies Will Give Your Business Direction
Your business must juggle a number of different obligations: to itself, the people who work for it, those who work with it (customers, sub-contractors and visitors, for example). This means that every aspect of your operation needs to be closely inspected in order to ensure no unnecessary or foreseeable risk is overlooked. By ensuring full compliance in this regard – which is, in any case, a matter of law – your business will be defining a clear direction for itself and committing to a course of continual improvement that’ll increase profit, boost efficiency and improve staff morale.
The Importance of Performance
Your HSE policy will force you to look at your business’s performance from three key vantage points; namely:
1. Its people
2. Its systems
3. Its procedures
This will help you achieve important objectives by pinpointing the root cause of underperformance. Ultimately you’ll be able to identify the changes needed to make your health and safety plan compliant, resulting in a safer environment for your workers and a more efficient operation that’ll save you money and reduce the risk of legal liability.
What Happens If You Don’t Manage Health And Safety?
If you decide that health and safety is not something you should spend your time on, then you may find yourself facing a number of problems. Not only do you run the risk of legal action from employees, but you may face prosecution from the state as well.
If an employee is injured while working for you as a result of poor health and safety, you are liable. This means that you have to pay compensation to the employee. If you have not taken out insurance for this you can face heavy financial costs, not to mention the damage to your reputation that will naturally follow.
Inspectors check health and safety regulations on a sporadic basis. If an inspector comes to your company and you fail the inspection, you will be given a prohibition notice. This notice will stop any work that the inspector deems unsafe. The work remains under this notice until you can prove that you have taken steps to rectify the issues. If you do nothing, then you can face state prosecution.
Implementing a good management plan for health and safety is an investment of time and resources, but it is not especially difficult, and it will probably prevent a lot of avoidable hassle in the long run.