Why Health and Safety Makes Good Business Sense
Health and safety issues permeate every work based setting. Business owners are required to provide a working environment which is safe for both employees and customers. This can often include the creation of risk assessments, implementation of practices and the modification of the physical workspace. Whilst some may find the overall process to be time consuming and in some cases unnecessary, good health and safety practices can actually boost overall productivity. Here are just some of the ways in which this can happen.
According to government statistics, during 2013/2014 as many as 629,000 employees had an accident at work. 148,000 of these people were absent from their workplace for at least 7 days as a consequence of their injury. These statistics show the direct relationship between safety in the workplace and productivity. Every time an employee is absent it costs an employer money and manpower but if just some of these absences can be avoided, every effort should be made to do so.
It should be noted that not all of the accidents within these statistics will be due to poor health and safety practices but it’s likely to be the case in a large proportion.
Countless pieces of research have found a link between stress and poor health, especially the low level, chronic stresses often found within the workplace. As well as potentially leading to sickness and absence, stress can also be demotivating which can lead to employees becoming less productive. Psychologists have pin pointed some of the main perpetrators of stress within the workplace. These include powerlessness (no control over your current situation), feeling as if you are wrong for your job, witnessing traumatic events within the workplace, no job description and a poor working environment. Obviously health and safety practices don’t cover all of these issue but any way in which you can alleviate stress for your workers will not only benefit them but the company as a whole.
Environmental conditions can affect productivity in a variety of different ways. For example, employees within an uncomfortable environmental are not going to work to the best of their ability. Furthermore, certain conditions can even affect health and safety and therefore lead to absence. Factors which come under the umbrella of environment conditions include, temperature, humidity, lighting, air quality, bathroom facilities and the presence of dangerous particles such as asbestos or moulds.
All of these can be factored into a company’s health and safety infrastructure, with measures to protect employees.
Health and safety is an aspect of business which can have repercussions on reputation. Companies that are recognised as enforcers of good practices are more likely to be respected and therefore favoured by potential employees. The same is true of the opposite, a business with a poor reputation for health and safety is less likely to attract workers.
Health and safety reputation is also going to affect the way consumers think about companies. This is especially true when it comes to food outlets or any companies which offer consumables. Obviously, anything which deters customers from buying is never good for a business and will lead to a loss in profits.
Health and safety is often a complex issue which requires a lot of time, effort and commitment. This being said, good practices will not only safeguard you, your employees and your customers but will also protect your organisation from lapses in morale and productivity.