Deciding on what to invest in for your business used to be simple– you would spend X amount on new equipment or a new building, which would increase the profits to Y.
Then came the digital age that changed everything. The focus shifted to investments in software and processes that proved to be harder to quantify. This has, however, resulted in falling investment levels, which could be a factor in declining productivity growth across economies.
This is most definitely the case for the areas of Health and Safety, which is often overlooked and seen as an overlooked area for investment. There could be a number of reasons for this. It could be hard for business leaders to envision potentially fatal risks that face their business if insufficient attention is paid to these areas.
Some of the benefits to Health and Safety investments are very clear- while others are more challenging to justify spending money on. Additionally, some of the potential benefits are easily missed due to them being dispersed widely throughout the company as a whole.
As business leaders, we need to know what to do with this. The answer is to increase their understanding of the importance of making investments in particular areas, particularly the areas of Health and Safety. This is achieved by looking at the legal, cultural, reputational, and financial impact, which in turn gives a greater understanding of how an investment in these areas can begin to drive improvements in productivity.
EVERY Workplace Has Potential Health and Safety Risk
Many employers neglect to invest in Health and Safety as they feel as though their line of business does not pose too much of a Health and Safety risk in its day to day operations.
However, this is far from the truth- even if the organisation does not specialise in operating heavy machinery in warehouses, there is still risk involved in handling packages and liquid spillages, as well as exposure to certain elements and infection.
With regulations in place such as PUWER who look after the Provision and Use of Work Work Equipment Regulations in workplaces, the duties are given to companies who have control or operate work equipment- which, as previously mentioned, is a lot. It is an important investment, even if simply to stick to regulations that the law requires- as well as making extra sure that staff are kept safe.
The effects of this can reach all facets of the business. Taking the time to show interest in your employee’s safety is a way to build staff loyalty, which will always have a positive impact on the company overall.
Protecting Reputation and Building a Positive Culture of Safety
Alongside the financial and legal aspects of Health and Safety Management, failure to comply in this area can also have implications on the reputation of a company. If there is bad publicity following an incident, this can damage the reputation of a company and undermine trust from customers and suppliers, which in turn will make it harder to retain custom and revenue.
A company with a good reputation for health and safety will enjoy positive knock-on effects on performance as employees will be proud to belong to an organisation renown for the care of their staff.
Businesses that have a well-put-together Health and Safety process may also find that there is a positive internal driver for growth and overall morale. This can become an integral part of company culture, bringing more benefits to the business on the whole.
Doing So Will Save on Costs
Aside from potential legal costs, fines and compensation payments- accidents and injuries in the workplace can add extra costs to a business, such as sick pay, rehabilitation, and medical costs.
Other costs could involve repairing disrupted work schedules, loss of productivity in the workplace and costs to cover repair and damage following an accident.
In addition to this, there are the other costs that could have to be invested in hiring and training new staff, if it happens that a member of staff is too sick to return to work following their workplace injury.
This dispells the rumour that investing money in Health and Safety management is a waste of time and expenses. When managing the finances of a business, it truly is not worth waiting to see how much the result of a single workplace injury will cost.
A little investment in training and effective management will equip workers to work safely in your premesis, and therefore maximise productivity.
That, by itself, is worth the investment.