No matter what its core reason for being might be or who it serves, every business must ensure that all health and safety requirements and systems are taken seriously and are in place. It might not seem overly important to you, especially if you work alone or all your team works remotely. Still, it makes no difference, health and safety and public safety affects every business. Therefore it’s crucial to understand more about it and to know why it’s important so you can implement the correct measures and make sure everyone who comes into contact with your business is protected. Read on to find out exactly why health and safety is important.
What Is Health And Safety?
Before we can understand why health and safety is important, it’s crucial to understand what health and safety means and what it means specifically for your business. In essence, health and safety is the umbrella term that means you do all you can to keep employees, customers, and members of the public safe when they are interacting with your business in any way.
Of course, some industries are looked on as more dangerous than others. If you run a business in a ‘safer’ area, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to ensure you have good health and safety measures in place. Public safety is crucial, especially since, should something go wrong, the reputation of your business could suffer because of it. Not only that, but as the business owner with ultimate responsibility, you might find that you personally receive a fine or even imprisonment should something go wrong and the right measures weren’t in place. Good health and safety practices are important for this reason.
It Makes Good Business Sense
Putting the right health and safety elements and rules in place within your business is the moral thing to do to ensure that those who work for you and with you and those who buy from you and use your services are kept safe. This is what they should be able to expect; they will go to your business, do what needs to be done, and go home again without incident.
However, as a business owner, although you’ll always want to do the moral thing, you’ll also need to do what’s right for your business, and by having a good health and safety policy in place that people follow, you’ll be doing just that. In other words, implementing health and safety policies within your business makes good business sense. One of the reasons for this is the fact that you will improve productivity and staff morale. Your employees will see that you are making the workplace safe for them, and therefore they will feel more confident that you are looking out for their best interests. They will be much happier to work for someone who cares about them, so they will work harder and feel more loyal, which reduces costs when it comes to finding new staff.
As well as this, a good health and safety culture means you’ll have fewer accidents, and risks will be reduced. This means less chance of fines, fewer staff off work, less paperwork to complete, and a generally more positive sense in the workplace.
In terms of finances, the fewer accidents you have in and around your workplace, the lower your insurance policies will be, saving you money. Plus, your reputation won’t suffer as it would if there was a lack of general health and safety in your business, and that will lead to more sales and more clients.
It might feel as though implementing good health and safety measures is time-consuming and expensive. However, you can see that it makes financial sense for your business when you offset the time and money spent in investing in good health and safety against the cost of what might happen if these measures weren’t in place.
It Encourages Social Responsibility
Social responsibility means taking care of the wider public, as well as your own staff and business associates. The more you can show you are doing this as a business, the better it will be for your reputation, which, as we’ve seen, is a good ideal both financially and morally.
With so much technology around us, it’s clear that customers are more aware of the businesses they are buying from and working with. They will do plenty of research before engaging with anyone. The more positive things you can show them in terms of your social responsibility as well as health and safety, the more they will want to spend their money with you and not a competitor.
Improve Your Health And Safety Culture
Once you know why health and safety is important, it’s crucial you do something to improve yours if necessary. You could employ a specialist health and safety manager who can oversee all the elements required in your business. This would solve many problems and ensure that everything is done in the right way. Some small businesses may not be able to afford to do this, and certainly having a full-time health and safety manager might be out of the question, and having a part-time one might still be problematic. So if you can’t hire someone to do the work for you and you need to do it yourself, here are some ways you can improve what you already have in place.
The first thing to do is to get educated on the subject. You can learn a lot online and through various workshops and conferences, but the best thing to do is to take a degree course. This might be in general health and safety, or it could be something more specific, such as a public safety degree. No matter what you choose, if you can find a good online course, you won’t have to lose any time in your business, and you’ll gain all the information you need to ensure everyone is safe.
It’s also important to look at what you have done in the past and learn from any mistakes you might have made. Although you will prefer not to have made them if you can use them to become a much safer business for everyone to interact with, then some good will come from the error, and it might even help you grow your business further.