Many companies may look on Health and Safety training as a formality, or as a burden that takes away from important production schedules. If your company has high hopes but tight deadlines, you might wonder how much benefit this kind of employee training provides.
Millions of employee are injured each year in every industry. A single loose wire or safety rail could represent costly injuries that proper safety awareness could have prevented. Here are some of the benefits of a workplace Health and Safety program.
1. Risk Management
You shouldn't consider safety as something that affects only employees with hazardous jobs. One of the most common complaints is back injuries due to lifting heavy boxes. Machines, tools, and chemicals are all potential risks if your employees don't observe proper safety procedures.
A small company could pose more risk of injury or fatalities by not developing a program of employee training that includes observing all safety regulations regarding storage, use, and labelling of hazardous products.
You might lose days, weeks, or months of productivity from an injured employee, or the problem of hiring and training a replacement. Other workers may become concerned about their own safety.
If accidents happen and preventative measures aren't taken, it tells your employees you don't care about their well-being, which results in employee turnover and job dissatisfaction. Poor motivation leads to more errors and weaker performance. Keep your staff loyal by showing real concern for their well-being.
The Health and Safety at Work Act in the UK and similar regulations are enacted to protect workers who were once subjected to long hours and poor conditions. Government regulators may stage random inspections, and failure to comply may result in fines that continue to accrue day by day until the problem is fixed.
Appointing a company safety officer to ensure regulations are followed can help avoid problems. In some countries such as Australia, a professional Workplace Health and Safety Manager is a key position earning an excellent salary of about 230.000 AUD per year.
4. Avoid Legal Claims and Judgements
Even if you're confident that accidents at your company are the rare exception rather than the rule, it only takes one accident to break the bank. Considering some of the hefty judgements that get paid, even a mild injury could amount to huge losses. If the accident happens at your company, the company could be held liable. Now add the legal fees to the settlement cost. The very real possibility that a single lawsuit could bankrupt your company should indicate the importance of Health and Safety training.
5. Positive Company Brand
The hard work of building your company into a recognizable, respected brand could be ruined. Lawsuits, deaths, fires, and other catastrophes cast your business as negligent or high-risk. Other companies may hesitate to do business with you, and the best employee prospects will look elsewhere.
Branding is easier if your company is known as a good working environment. Word of mouth from employees past and present truly matter in the era of blogs and social media. Make it clear to everyone that safety is a priority.
6. Safety Reduces Cost
Apart from litigation, your company could be stuck with medical expenses in the event of an accident. Even a few stitches could cost hundreds on top of emergency room fees and rising insurance premiums.
Materials improperly stacked could fall at any time, injuring or killing anyone who walked by. Apart from the stated costs, you're looking at losses from damage, and lost productivity due to clean-up efforts and replacing the merchandise. Proper safety training could have prevented this.
If you were thinking that Health and Safety training is something to put off or skimp on, imagine a scenario where the worst happens and your company is liable. Proper training helps to ensure that employees can save themselves, and you, from costly disasters.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.
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