Regardless of the size of your organisation, health and safety training should be at the top of your priority list. People are still dying due to accidents at work, or are being left seriously ill, so it’s key to keep your employees aware of risks and offer training that will enable them to both identify and deal with risks.
We’ve got some key reasons why health and safety training is important for your business.
Risk is present in all workplaces
From busy construction sites to a quiet business office, all workplaces come with their own hazards. Whilst an office environment may seem safe in comparison to a hospital or a construction site, there is still the risk of slips, trips, falls and other risks associated with working with display screen equipment for example. Improper equipment and even asbestos are all things that can cause significant risk to workplace safety and there are always potential issues that employees should be aware of.
It’s important to remember that no workplace is 100% safe and so health and safety should be an ongoing process within all businesses.
Many consider health and safety to be a time consuming and tedious effort, but it’s actually a great way to improve efficiency and productivity within a business.
In most cases, health and safety procedures follow a distinct structure or process so that tasks are clearly defined and easy to understand. As a result, employees are able to complete work tasks safely and efficiently because what is required is clearly defined.
Furthermore, if employees are working in a safe and secure environment, which has systems in place and is managed well, then they are more likely to remain focused on their job role and the work that they are performing.
Making operations safer, smarter and clearer not only increases productivity but can also help organisations cut down on indirect costs to businesses. Streamlined operations mean less time is spent on individual tasks, which ensures that working hours are more efficient.
Losing workers due to a workplace accident injury or illness can also have a detrimental effect on the business. Not only do employers lose a member of staff but they also lose valuable time, money and resources in resolving issues, finding replacement staff or dealing with any legal issues.
Effective health and safety training and procedures mean that fewer employees are at risk and may need to take a leave of absence which reduces the chance of long-term disruptions.
Finally, an uncompromising approach to health and safety training can also help companies avoid significant fines for breaches in health and safety regulations so you must ensure all of your employees are complying with the laws and procedures set out.
Creates a safe culture
A strong health and safety policy can help an organisation build a good relationship with its employees and will ensure workers are looking after the wellbeing of themselves and their colleagues. Indeed, staff who feel safer and more valued are less likely to leave and tend to be more satisfied with their employers. This satisfaction can have a positive impact on morale and overall productivity. A health and safety strategy can also serve as a good indicator of an organisation’s awareness and commitment to social responsibility.
It’s the law
As mentioned above one of the key reasons why health and safety training is important is because it isn’t optional – it’s the law. Introduced in 1974, The Health and Safety at Work Act is a key piece of legislation that requires employers and employees to take reasonable and practicable steps to ensure health and safety in the workplace. In addition, certain regulations outline health and safety procedures in specific industries and sectors.
Fines for health and safety violations continue to grow year on year, as the UK Government continues to pursue a zero-tolerance approach against offenders and these fines can often severely disrupt a company’s financial security or cause bankruptcy in severe cases.
Breaches in health and safety can also lead to criminal prosecution which can have a devastating impact on an organisation of any size.
Ultimately, the benefits of a strong health and safety policy far outweigh the cost of maintaining it. Health and safety training should never be seen as a barrier to success or considered as an after-thought, but rather it should be at the forefront of every business and its processes.