Written by Marcus Clarke
Health and safety in the workplace is obviously a very important thing. First, as a company, it is a legal requirement that you abide by health and safety legislation. However, in our more litigious society, if you do not do so, you are at risk of lawsuits and actions against you by your employees. However, it is not only about lawsuit and legislation, it is also about the bottom line. In fact, if you take care of health and safety concerns, then your business will be more profitable, and more people will want to work for you, because you will get a better reputation, and your workers will be happier every day on their journey to work. Below we give a few ways in which a more positive health and safety culture can bring about positive change within your company.
- Happier, more productive workers
According to the Guardian, firstly, if employees feel safer, they will feel happier in work and will thus be more productive. This is without any management dictates or targets. Health and safety may seem, for a boss, like it is mainly about ticking boxes and meeting government requirements. However, for your workers, it is their life. It is probably THE most important thing about their job, apart from their wage packet. If your staff feel safer, and they do not think their every step in work is dangerous or insecure, they will be able to work in a more positive environment, and their morale will be boosted. Thus, they will work harder. This will also have obvious boons for your productivity and profit margins.
- Higher turnover
As we have seen, a more positive health and safety culture can actually improve your profit margins. For example, your employees will be happier, more productive and more motivated, and they will recognize how much their employees care for them, and will thus be more committed to the organization. Also, according to the HSE, there are other obvious ways that a positive health and safety culture can help your business increase its profit. For example, your business will lose fewer days through sickness, and positive health and safety practice will prevent even more serious incidents, such as deaths and injuries at work, which can obviously seriously affect your business. For example, the Health and Safety Executive say that 5.5 million work days were lost because of workplace injury in 2016/17, and a whopping 26 million days were lost through work-related ill health, which only goes to show the effect that more proactive health and safety practices could have on your business.
- Increases the value of your brand
Though obviously your employees are the most important thing, it is also worth noting that a positive health and safety environment can also strengthen your brand image. Your brand is your bread and butter, and increasing its worth and reputation can be the difference between a good business year and a lean one. For example, a more proactive health and safety approach will give your business kudos amongst your suppliers, a better reputation with consumers, and will improve public relations more generally, and this can only increase the profitability of your business.
“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
There are also other ways in which a positive health and safety culture can increase the value of your brand. For example, it shows that your business is ethically and socially responsible: that it cares and doesn’t just want to take your cold hard cash.
Health and safety, then, is both a practical and an ethical concern of the utmost importance. It is a legal requirement that your business follows the law in regards to health and safety legislation, and this is both a moral imperative and a legal necessity. If you do not abide by these responsibilities, then you may well not be as good a person. However, what is abundantly clear is that you will be less effective as a businessperson. This is because, as we have shown above, there are genuine business reasons why you should be on top of your businesses’ health and safety needs, and why doing so will make you balance books more pleasing.