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Workplace Health And Safety – Why It’s More Important Than Ever

– Contributed content –

1 February 2018 Health and safety is a growing concern for business, especially in the age of social media. One safety breach or blatant ignorance of health guidelines and you could soon find yourself part of a media frenzy. Today, businesses are judged heavily on their ethics, so it’s important that your business is seen as not only protecting your employees, customers and clients, but also demonstrating some social responsibility by respecting the environment too.

Here’s a refresher on why your business’ health and safety is more important than ever.



Preventing devastating accidents in the workplace

Workplace accidents can have devastating consequences for workers. Not only can they leave workers with life-changing injuries, but they also change the mood of your workplace and have an effect on morale.

As a responsible employer, you must make sure that your employees are safe in the workplace. Having the right health and safety guidelines in place is part of your legal obligation, but it also gives your employees rules to follow. Health and safety rules help make the workplace more productive, helping to establish a culture that embraces a safe working environment.

It has an impact on your business

Accidents at work can have a significant economic impact. In the United States, more than $250 billion is lost annually to workplace illness and injuries, while the figure is €476 billion a year in the EU. While your business may not experience losses as high as these, you may find that your business is stretched as a result of people being off on sick.

While some illnesses are unavoidable, the injuries and illnesses that happen in the workplace can be avoided. A large part of the responsibility lies with you as the employer, but it’s also important that your employees feel empowered to take charge of their health and safety in the workplace. Through offering health and safety training as well as carrying out regular checks, you’ll be doing your bit to make sure that your employees put their health and safety at the heart of what they do. Training may seem like a large cost for your business, but investing in health and safety training could actually save you money in the long run.

It’s important for your customers

If you run a business that deals with members of the public, such as a food business or a retail store, then health and safety become even more important. You’re no longer just responsible for your employees; you’re also responsible for anyone who walks into your premises. Ensuring health and safety for customers is a legal responsibility, and you never know when the health inspector might decide to pay a visit.

Don’t underestimate the power of a Tripadvisor review. Today, when people look for places to eat or visit, one of the first places they’ll go to check it out is Tripadvisor. One bad review based on the health and safety of your establish could soon cost you customers, making it important to make sure you stick to the rules all day, every day.

Serving bread

(Kaicho20, Pixabay)

Investing in the right equipment is one way you can help make your business safer for customers. In the restaurant industry, for example, more and more business owners are investing in fish processing equipment to help make it easier to prepare and store fish safely and hygienically. It’s worth attending trade events or speaking to others in the industry about some of the latest technology and equipment that’s out there to help you make some essential improvements to your business.

It helps you to maintain a good reputation

Building a strong company reputation depends on a number of things. While PR and networking are two of the essentials for building up your reputation, avoiding scandal is one of the things you need to do to prevent that reputation from being destroyed.

A bad press story can spread like wildfire. Remember when Harrison Ford was filming The Force Awakens? A serious injury suffered by the actor left a production company with a $2 million fine to pay for breaching health and safety rules. Meanwhile, Hugo Boss is another well-known company that has recently faced fines for health and safety breaches.

Following health and safety guidelines should be an essential part of what your business does. By ignoring health and safety rules, you open yourself up to a world of scrutiny that can be hard for your business to recover from. When making decisions for your business, bare in mind the potential headlines that could be written as a result of your choices – if there’s a possibility of a negative story, don’t do it.

Managing health and safety in the workplace

Health and safety may seem like something for big businesses to be concerned with, but health and safety is important for small businesses too. A serious accident could spike your insurance costs, potentially skyrocketing to an amount that a small business can’t afford.

Workplace health and safety should be a dedicated role in your team. If you are a small business, then hiring an agency or a freelancer could be the solution to ensure your health and safety operations are managed effectively. Make a list of all of the essential training your staff will need to undertake, from first aid to manual handling, to help give them the skills and knowledge they need to feel comfortable carrying out their jobs.

Health and safety in the workplace benefits everyone. If you’re not sure on what the rules and regulations are, then you should get in touch with experts who can steer you in the right direction. Ensure that all of your insurance policies are in order and that you’re familiar with your legal rights.

While it may not seem like the most exciting of business topics, health and safety is one of the most important. Avoid accidents and the consequences that come with them by making health and safety a priority in your workplace.

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