Whether you’re starting up a business or growing a well-established company, addressing health and safety requirements can feel like a daunting and costly task.
New businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses tend to put health and safety low down their list of priorities — one to come back to “when I have time or can afford it.” Purchasing protective equipment for your staff, writing policies, and delivering training — that all sounds like a lot of effort and expense, right? Maybe so, but besides the obvious risk of being prosecuted, failing to assess the health hazards that exist in your workplace and implementing procedures to minimise them can be a costly mistake for many reasons.
Health and safety should not be seen as merely a tick box exercise; something that has to be done, nor should involve developing manuals, processes, and policy’s, putting them in the bottom drawer and only bringing them out in the event of an event or an investigation. It’s a great opportunity to think about how you run your business and how to improve productivity, profits, and results.
So why should you invest in workplace health and safety?
Improve Staff Engagement and Company Reputation
Employers who provide their staff with the necessary clothing, equipment, training, and procedures to perform their job efficiently and safely will be looked on favourably by employees, customers, and prospective stakeholders or investors. Giving due consideration to the health and safety of your workforce sends a clear message that you value your employees and are committed to running a fair and ethical business which is legally compliant.
Employees who are happy in the workplace are much more likely to remain loyal to the company and strive to achieve business goals. As well as aiding retention of experienced staff, building a reputation as a good employer will make it far easier to attract the best new talent.
Boost Productivity and Profits
Staff who are well looked after are also more likely to feel positive about their work environment, leading to higher levels of motivation and ambition to succeed.
Maintaining consistently high standards of health and safety at work reduces business costs which can otherwise make a significant dent in your profits. Insurance premiums will fall and fewer accidents mean you’ll find yourself spending less on injury claims and procedural changes.
Avoid Unnecessary Costs
Without comprehensive health and safety policy and effective safety procedures, you leave yourself open to a whole host of unnecessary costs.
If you are lucky enough to avoid any major workplace accidents and injuries, a lack of adequate health and safety measures is likely to result in higher rates of sick leave. Staff who are less content in the workplace are more likely to take days off.
Equally, a workplace without safe working practices leaves employees open to risks which could cause minor injuries and illness resulting in time off work. This will cost your business money in terms of sick pay, cover staff and the time needed to organise changes in workload. Productivity is also likely to be affected which of course impacts profits.
Wider Business Benefits
Taking the time to risk assess your business properly provides a fantastic opportunity to identify areas of strength and weakness in the organisation as a whole, which can support business development and growth.
By involving your employees and getting their insights into how the business is run, you’ll gain an understanding not just of workplace hazards and safety procedures, but employee well-being, staff satisfaction, opportunities for personal development and much more.
If you'd like to talk about how to implement a simple and effective Health and Safety programme in your business, make a time to talk to me today.
About the author
Oak Consulting NZ was established in 2019 by Rebekah Vincent with a specific focus:
To support business owners to implement effective, simple and industry specific health and safety practices while building a positive health and safety culture.
Oak Consulting NZ, represents strength, growth, perseverance, leadership, and knowledge. All of these values playing a vital part in health and safety culture within a business.