How to make health & safety a business priority

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With business growth, recruitment and productivity issues requiring a great deal of manufacturing managers’ attention, health and safety programmes can get pushed to the side. However, one accident can change the life of an employee as well as spell doom for an entire business.

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Here are few ways to make the case to business leaders that health and safety programmes, risk assessments, and training need to be a priority:

Avoid fines, stay in business

With an increasing number of £1-million+ fines under the new Sentencing Guidelines, an accident can not only be fatal to employees but the business as well. Maintaining a good reputation through proactive publicity around safety initiatives (such as a training regime or zero-accident culture programme) can help avoid regulator visits.

If regulators do pay a visit and find faults, repercussions can be severe, including stop orders on using equipment, prohibition of a process, or prosecution for noncompliance.

 

Workforce morale and recruitment

As the manufacturing Skills Report 2016 found, manufacturers are struggling to recruit the workers they need to grow. Skilled engineers have a variety of employment options, so why would they work for a company that shows (through social media or a simple Google search) they have a history of accidents or fines for safety problems?

Similarly, if workers feel their employer has a cavalier attitude towards worker health or doesn’t take near misses or reported safety issues seriously, there is understandably a dip in loyalty and morale.

 

Meet customer expectations

These days, many contracts require proof that a company meets best practice standards for health and safety. Here, lip service is not enough. Companies can set themselves apart from the competition through a rigorous, an individual responsible for HSE, demonstrable programme of safety training and working with qualified consultants to develop strong processes and risk assessments.

Given that companies are financially and legally responsible for the safety of contractors working on their site or on their projects, look for customers to examine their contractors’ commitment to safety with increasing rigour. 

Author

Health, Safety and Sustainability Delivery Lead

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