Even though many companies have health and safety practices and procedures in place, thousands of employees are injured or killed at work every year. There are many different list posts on the internet about why safety is important and how to manage your safety better. So we decided to take all of these and combine them into one amazing Go-To-Guide. The Team at 2wayradionline.co.uk got together and trawled the internet for the best advice and found seven topics most people were talking about; we broke these topics down and provided the sources and information for each one.
1 - How To Reduce Injuries And Fatalities
Safety in the workplace should be one of a business's top priorities. Making sure that employees are competent at the job they are doing, and the equipment they are using, goes a long way to creating a safe working environment. The best way to ensure this is to create effective training and develop a positive health & safety culture, making health and safety second nature within the workforce.
These tips to keep safety a priority focus on accountability and training, which is at the core of reducing injuries and fatalities. We hear all the time that "prevention is better than cure" and that is so true for health and safety. The best training is one that teaches safety behaviours, explaining a safe way of doing something or using a piece of equipment, opposite to the negative effects of an unsafe action.
Creating a procedure that everyone understands is extremely important, as is making safety a core value in the business and holding everyone accountable. This comes from top, from the board of directors, and trickles downs to all levels of management. Managers and directors should show that they personally care, because safety involves everyone.
2 - How To Keep A Company's Most Valuable Asset Protected
The most important assets of most businesses are their employees, so keeping the workforce safe should be paramount in a business structure. As these key benefits highlight, dangers come in many different forms; the dangers might not be obvious and it is essential to provide specific health and safety training regularly to keep hazards and accidents down to a minimum.
Safety is defined as freedom from harm or danger, both physical and mental. The only way to enable someone to be safe is for them to decide to be safe for themselves. Management can ask questions of themselves, such as "What would I do if?" or "If this should happen, then what would I do?" Managers should practise the "If this, then what?" scenarios, putting themselves in the place of the employee. Along with that, the employees need to understand what they can do if they feel unsafe within their job.
The benefits of training far outweigh the cost. If the workforce keeps up-to-date with current legislation, procedures, and safety practices, then employees feel valued. Then, as a by-product, the business will see improving profits and staff morale and business performance. Safe workers are loyal workers and constant training can result in better customer service, better work safety practices, and productivity improvements.
3 - How Safety Improves Quality And Production
It is thought that if a workplace manages their health and safety correctly, the cost of the workforce's illness and injury can be reduced by 20% - 40%. As this article highlights, injuries in the workplace can unsettle staff. Furthermore, lack of consistency impacts productivity, and training replacements is expensive. The 2011/2012 report that this article is based upon (now not available online) does a direct cost-benefit analysis of improving safety against the cost of accidents, concluding that there is a foreseen cost (as we highlight above) to business and an invisible cost.
The importance of safety within a business can be summed up in these three simple factors, which explain that a safe working environment reduces costs, improves quality and creates a loyal workforce. They sum up by adding "It's about creating the kind of productive, efficient, happy and inspiring workplace we all want to be part of."
But where is the proof that a safer work environment is more productive? This article knits together how positive work cultures are more productive, identifying disengagement and lack of loyalty as two of the three invisible elements of a poor workplace culture, suggesting six characteristics of a positive workplace, and explaining how well-being comes from a positive culture.
Safety and a positive workplace culture go hand-in-hand. Success and good productivity are by-products of a workforce that is confident and treated well, and when this happens, safety is easier to manage as everyone feels engaged.
4 - How To Reduce The Cost Of Your Insurance
Business insurance is calculated on many different factors, and much like home and car insurance. The price of the insurance goes up if you have claimed against the insurance, meaning any incident that occurs could push up the cost of your insurance premiums when they next come to renew.
There are many ways for a company to lower their business insurance premiums -- shopping around, installing security systems, buying in bundles or having a good reputation -- but one of the best ways is to reduce the risk of an incident. Insurance companies will appreciate you decreasing the likelihood of an accident by making simple and inexpensive improvements, such as adding slip mats, and extra locks to security alarms, and additional protection on windows (which may seem counter-productive, but can pay for itself in a reduction in insurance rates).
It ís important to understand that along with direct costs to the business, there are also indirect costs. For example, damaged products, lost production, and demotivated staff all have an impact on the business that may not be covered by the insurance.
5 - Personal Protection
There are many stories of company directors being fined or even jailed because they neglected safety. In fact, the number has tripled in recent years. As of the end of March 2016, 46 company directors and senior managers had been prosecuted for breaching the law by the HSE. One of the biggest cases in recent history is of the owner of a haulage company and his mechanic. They were both convicted of manslaughter when one of their truck's brakes failed and killed four people. But picking up on specific cases isn't helpful; a company director needs to understand the circumstances of the risks and understand their duty of care. Any unreasonable breaching of a duty of care can be considered neglect. A company director shouldn't consider health and safety concerns as a burden; rather, he or she should offer significant opportunities to reduce costs, risks and accidents.
6 - How Can Safety Reduce Business Costs
Back in the 18th century, workplace safety was a luxury. Children would be employed in the factories, and regularly be injured or killed. That was, until factory owners Robert Owen and Richard Oastler proposed reforms to working conditions. They both understood that if they treated their employees well, then they would work harder and this in turn would then make greater profits. They were right, and studies indicate that for every $1 invested in workplace safety, $3-$10 can be saved in direct and indirect costs.
Being pro-active in preventing accidents in the workplace and protecting against ill health is an investment in the future of the business. It's not all about responsibility, but it goes a long way to improve the bottom line. We have suggested in this guide that the cost of prevention far out-weighs the cost of an injury, and much like this article highlights, a safe environment retains employees. They thrive in a safe environment, and, more importantly, the business operates more efficiently.
7 - How Can Safety Impact A Business Reputation
Nobody wants to do business with a company that puts their bottom line before the quality of the products and the safety of employees. Reputations can be lost in hours after a large incident. Take for example the roller coaster crash at Alton Towers. Merlin's response immediately after the incident ensured that the tragedy didn't further impact the business. Even though numbers were down in the summer of 2015, people still had confidence that this was a one-off event. Seaworld is an example of a reputation being destroyed by an incident. Dawn Brancheau was killed in 2010 by one of the Orcas, which was well-documented in a film called "Blackfish." The evidence presented in the film suggests that Seaworld puts the profits of the park ahead of the safety of its employees. Seaworld has now ended its breeding program, and is reducing its workforce, because of the negative press.
A companyís reputation and it safety go hand-in-hand. If the customer is confident in your product or service, then you are likely to receive further business-- if not, or the reputation of the business is undermining what you are doing, it can be a steep hill to climb.
Written by the team at 2wayradioonline.co.uk