This is a guest blog from Holly, who is part of the content team at Engage EHS. Holly has worked in the health and safety industry since graduating from university. 

Health and safety should be a key component to every stage of the organisation of your business. Not only is health and safety important to your employees, but it also helps you as a business run more efficiently, because your workers are practising a solid health and safety system.

Examine the many benefits that such a system offers you and your employees with the following points.

Reduced Absenteeism

Consider this: An employee falls and is absent from work for several weeks. The fall was because of a lack of health and safety rules around a particular piece of equipment. Those weeks turn into months and eventually, the employee never returns to work because the accident has left him unable to work on his feet for long amounts of time. This particular employee was a specialist with a certain machine and without him, you can’t move production through as fast as before. Now you have to hire another specialist and hope to train them to work fast enough to get caught up on all the work that you’re behind in.
Sound familiar? With a stringent health and safety system that goes above and beyond your government mandated system, you can hopefully avoid detrimental injuries to your employees and in doing so, you’ll reduce absenteeism.

Reduced Work Stress and Improved Productivity

By teaching each employee how to handle tools without being injured, they will be less worried about accidents. Careful but cautious workers are more productive, because they’re showing up for work and doing their job more efficiently.
The top injuries a worker is likely to suffer in the workplace include: back pain, injuries from trips and slips, falls from any variety of heights, injuries from computers such as eye strain, transport accidents, and depending on the job, asthma, and work related skin disease. The knowledge that just by showing up to work can lead to an injury that could be avoided, can cause a considerable amount of stress from employees. That is why it is important you as the employer mitigate any stress by creating a solid system of health and safety. Enforcing such a system benefits both the employee and the employer.

Saves You Money

As a business, you’ll understand that you need to save money, but any money spent towards developing a health and safety system will be paid back with workers who can avoid hospital fees due to your rigorous system. The HSE estimates total costs of workplace self-reported injuries and ill health in 2017/18 was £15.0 billion – 65% (£9.8 billion), with injury resulting in around 35% of total costs (£5.2 billion). That’s a substantial cost, for any size business. By saving money on insurance premiums, because your employees are working in a safer atmosphere, you can then reward your employees with additional raises, instead of shuffling that money to sick pay or the cost of accidents.

Creates Awareness

As your health and safety system includes tactics like escaping from a fire, it creates an awareness for your employees. With each fire drill, they’ll be even more prepared for an emergency, should it arise, and they’ll better understand how to handle themselves and care for others. Additionally, should your building house dangerous areas, an understanding and at least, basic awareness of why certain areas are dangerous will prepare your employees and make them more cautious and aware of their surroundings, thus minimizing accidents.

Improves Reputation

Rigorously protecting your employees with a health and safety system that keeps them safe and secure can even improve your reputation. As word gets out that your business is safe and productive, your safety first mentality will impress others in your field and improve public relations, which could in turn lead to more work.

For David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Engage EHS, any business person worth their salt will have an in-depth knowledge of health and safety policy and practice. This is because health and safety is not only an end in itself, it is a means to an end towards a more efficient business that has an improved bottom line and greater brand loyalty amongst consumers.

Protects from Potential Closures

Following health and safety prevents potential closures to your business. Not only does health and safety protect your workers, but it is a legal requirement. Not following the legal requirements of health and safety could result in a shuttering of your business, causing you as the employer to lose out on a substantial sum of money.

For the sake of your business and your employees, follow the legal guidelines and create any necessary additional restrictions, to ensure that your business stays productive and profitable due to safe and healthy employees.