The importance of health and safety in the workplace
Failure to comply with health and safety regulations has led to costly fines for many British businesses.
With over 28 million working days lost each year due to work-related illness or injury, health and safety in the workplace is a very important issue. However, despite this, many companies are failing to comply with health and safety requirements, with recent figures revealing that British business were fined a total of £54 million in the last year alone – a 43 percent increase from the previous year’s total of £37 million.
Health and safety breaches
The fines were imposed on companies for health and safety breaches, including those leading to serious or fatal accidents. In one case, a water company was fined £1.8 million after an employee died in a sand filtration unit, while a bread making company received a fine of £2 million after an employee suffered a serious spinal injury whilst at work.
Know your responsibilities
It’s clear to see that, as well as having potentially tragic consequences, a lack of health and safety compliance can also be very costly for businesses. As a business owner, it’s vital that you know your responsibilities under the law and are in a position to carry these out.
Ensuring health and safety compliance needn’t be costly or complicated. It really just involves putting in place some practical steps to help protect your employees against preventable accidents or illnesses. This should include drawing up and disseminating a health and safety policy, carrying out risk assessments, and evaluating your processes and procedures to ensure they have adequate safety measures built into them.
Of course, you can’t do it all on your own. It’s also important to get your employees on board, and health and safety awareness courses can help to foster a positive health and safety culture, and give people the opportunity to learn how to protect themselves and each other in the workplace.
At times it may seem tempting to cut corners, but by giving health and safety the attention it deserves, you can avoid costly fines and create a safe, happy and healthy working environment.