Today, we have a guest post from James Hughes. He is a freelance HR consultant and writer. After working for several high profile businesses in the city, James is now supporting businesses through difficult times as an independent consultant. James now works mainly in the industrial sector, with a focus on improving health and safety as a catalyst for internal change.
Some workplaces are undoubtedly more dangerous than others. Working with heavy machinery can make a job more risky, as can working at heights. However, despite this, health and safety is a concern no matter what industry you are from. What is more, taking a proactive approach to the health and safety culture in your workplace can actually make sound business sense, and benefit your company in numerous ways. Below are a few ways in which a positive health and safety culture can be great for business.
What’s good for your employees is good for you
Workers who do not feel safe are not productive. Therefore, it makes good economic sense to promote a positive health and safety culture, aside from the obvious ethical concerns. For example, if your business involves your workers working at heights, e.g. climbing ladders, you need to have policies and procedures in place to protect your workers, as otherwise your employees will not feel safe in their work and will not be able to perform the tasks your business needs. This lack of safety could then lead to stress, for example, which may then lead to lost work days, lower productivity, and even your workers leaving the company due to a lack of trust that your company is looking after their needs. It is clear then that a positive health and safety culture will lead to happier, more productive workers.
Health and safety = healthy profit margins
Probably the most important thing for any business is its profit margins. However, behind your profits are a bunch of other concerns that need to be taken care of. One of the most important is health and safety, and a positive health and safety culture can have a huge impact on your profits. There are multiple ways in which this may be the case. For example;
- If there are not consistent accidents, your workers will not have to take days off to recuperate.
- Your workers will have fewer sick days.
- The word will spread, and the best workers will want to work for your company, as they know you will look after them.
- Your business will gain more consumer confidence due to increased positive publicity and word of mouth.
- You will not incur the same legal costs as businesses who don’t look after their staff.
So, though it may initially seem that a positive health and safety culture is an additional cost to your business, in fact it will save you money in the long run and even increase the profitability of your company.
“Directors must have an understanding of the role safety performance plays in the performance of their business. In accepting corporate responsibility for health and safety, directors need to be proactive in developing a positive safety culture for their workplace. In the long-term this leads to an internal cultural shift that can have an indirect impact on external brand affinity and brand loyalty.” according to David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Effective Software
Grow your brand and consumer confidence
If you look after your workers, and you ensure that your company does what it should for its employees, the word will spread. This can only benefit your brand, and consumer confidence and shareholder satisfaction can only grow. We all know how much of an impact an accident, particularly a very serious one, can have on your brand, and being proactive can minimize this. Therefore, if you practice a positive health and safety culture, your brand will gain a reputation for ethical practice. Health and safety authorities agree that a stringent health and safety culture is good for business.
The importance of ladder safety
Ladders may be an indispensable tool for your business. However, they can be dangerous: ladders are one of the leading causes of falling accidents in the USA. As with any potentially dangerous piece of equipment, you need to pay particular attention to health and safety issues around them. Some things to check for include: that they are in a good state of repair; that your employees are trained effectively in their use; and that the rungs and feet are in good order, as these can be a cause of accidents.
So, if you ensure that your health and safety policies and procedures are up to scratch in your business, it will surely pay you back threefold.