Expert View

3 reasons why health and safety is important

04 May 2018

By Neil Simms, Manager – Health & Safety

THE BIG THREE…

Health and safety is important for three recognised reasons.

  1. Moral obligations. People quite rightly expect their health and safety to be of paramount importance at work, visiting a hotel, a restaurant, a library or indeed anything else leisure-based.

There is an unspoken assumption that people will not be put at risk as a result of undertaking such ‘ordinary’ events and duties. Where there is any element of risk likely, there is an expectation that it will be minimised by the removal of certain hazards, or as a last resort, providing those that could potentially be in danger with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

  1. Legal obligations, as provided by legislation such as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. Where moral duties fail or are somewhat laxed, there is always the threat of legal sanctions such as fines and imprisonment. Not forgetting the litigation side, civil remedies can be sought following an accident or incidents of work related ill-health.

 But what about the hidden costs? The loss of business orders due to a firm having a poor safety record, or the drop-in productivity due to workers suffering low morale due to a lack of concern over their welfare. This can all have a major impact. Poor publicity following court cases can be even more damaging than the punitive measures themselves. This all leads us into the third reason… 

  1. EconomicA good health and safety due diligence system can reduce the potential for insurance pay-out refusals and may even enhance the potential for better bank deals for your business. Now that definitely has to be a further motivation!

“Yes, but health and safety doesn’t make me money – it won’t pay the bills.”

If I had a pound for the number of times I have heard that! It is true that health and safety may not make you money – but it can save you a lot of money in the long term – by not having to pay out fines and compensation. A large retailer was recently fined £8 million on a health, safety and environmental charge. Would your company be able to survive such a fine?

WHAT NEXT?

Usually, accidents occur where there are breakdowns in the available control mechanisms, or where a control has not been put into place when it should. There can be an alignment of faults that lead to the perfect storm, crashing down like a row of dominoes – a one-way ticket to loss, damage, injury or death. And once that has happened – it has happened – there is no turning back.

The best health and safety controls are the result of applying a little common sense and the good news is – common sense costs nothing! Those ‘I will get around to doing them when I have the time’jobs should all be done now. Fixing a pothole, a broken tile or applying a suitable mat on a slippery surface could save a lot of pain, heartache and hassle further down the line.

Of course, health and safety can be more complex at times and the surrounding legislation can be time consuming to digest and somewhat difficult to decipher. That’s where Suresite can offer the competent advice and assistance that you require.

Suresite risk assessments are constantly evolving and under review, taking into account the latest thinking and technology available. Our assessments take a thorough and robust approach, enhancing a site operator’s due diligence system automatically by highlighting what is required to achieve legal, moral and economic compliance.

Now is the time to consider health and safety compliance on your site. Do you believe that you’ve done all that is required to mitigate and reduce risks? If you’re unsure, or believe you could do with some extra help, Suresite is there to take some of the strain by providing your business with the health and safety advice it requires.

For further information, or an informal discussion on how we can help with any of the above, contact myself or Steve Clark on 01772 790901.

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