Workplace accidents can, unfortunately, happen across every industry and in every organisation. Last year, work-related illness and injury cost UK businesses over £15 billion with 28.3 million working days lost to work-related ill-health. For small businesses, the cost of health and safety incidents can severely impact the success, profit and resources of the organisation. However, 39% of SMEs say that health and safety ‘just feels like paperwork’. So, how can SMEs realise the benefits and importance of health and safety within their organisation?
1. Procurement Value
Health and Safety schemes and standards can be essential for SMEs looking to secure significant contracts with larger firms. Many large-scale corporations will have a stringent list of requirements for their suppliers. This can include sharing your policies and risk assessments, having an appointed Competent Person or completing specific health and safety training. Without showing clients a commitment to health and safety, they may be reluctant to award contacts.
2. Return On Investment
Many businesses fail to see the benefit of health and safety because it can be difficult to measure the return on investment. However, studies show that some occupational health measures can deliver an ROI of £12 for every £1 spent. This could be from giving staff the training they need to stay safe at work, to remedial action on anything that has been highlighted in a risk assessment.
3. Legal Requirement
It is a legal requirement for every business to have a health and safety policy. Organisations with five or more employees need to have a written policy. Even for organisations with fewer than five employees, having a documented plan offers benefits as it can allow staff, contractors, clients and other interested parties to refer to your policy when they need to. You don’t have to have a qualified QHSE in-house to complete this for you. It is often useful to use a health and safety consultant as they will be a fresh pair of eyes looking at your current systems in place.
As well as a policy, other legal requirements, as per the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 include;
• Providing training and information to workers
• Conducting risk assessments
• Appointing a competent person to oversee workplace safety.
4. Staff Welfare and Wellbeing
Focussing on the health and safety of staff members can boost employee morale, increase productivity levels and enhance loyalty to the organisation. Furthermore, studies suggest that 61% of employees work harder for employers that invest in their health.
By investing and caring about health and safety, SMEs can benefit from a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.
5. Safer Workplaces
No business wants to see any member of staff suffer from injury and illness. Consequently, failing to protect employees sufficiently can lead to workers off sick, legal cases and fines. By promoting a safer workplace, staff benefit from a safe place to work while business operations can run efficiently. Furthermore, it can also lower insurance costs too.
So, with so many benefits to prioritising health and safety, small businesses can enjoy a safer, profitable and happier organisation, putting them on the right path to success.
If you’d like to know more and are interested in getting some support, advice or online training then fell free to get in touch with either Kim or Andrew via our website Invicta Safety or call us on 01233 226477.