Regardless of whether your business only employs a handful of staff or hundreds of people, it will still have the same health and safety obligations. A business has a duty of care to its staff; it is that simple. Often employing the right health and safety processes is instrumental in ensuring that your staff’s health and well-being are being catered for. Health and safety serve several roles in your business; let’s explore.
The Effect on Your Employees
If you fail to take your health and safety responsibilities seriously, there could be several effects on your employees. First and foremost, you are opening them up to the possibility of injuries and accidents. Suppose those injuries or accidents happen directly because of your negligence or because you haven’t taken your health and safety obligations seriously. In that case, the employee who has hurt themselves can file a claim against you.
Next, if there are repeated accidents or injuries to staff, they are likely not to feel cared for and supported. This could either mean that they are less likely to work to the best of their ability, or they may choose to leave for another job. Regardless, neither outcome is ideal when trying to run a business.
The Effect on the Business
In addition to affecting your employees, your approach to health and safety will also impact your business. Firstly, it could negatively impact the perception your clients, customers, and other business contacts have of your business. They are less likely to choose you or work with you if they get the impression that you are less than reputable or don’t care about your staff.
As mentioned above, if your staff were to injure themselves in the workplace, they could make a claim against your business, and they would be well within their rights to do so if you haven’t followed health and safety mandates as set out by the government. The financial repercussions of this claim could be catastrophic for your business.
Prioritizing Your Health & Safety Responsibilities
The government and other regulatory bodies like the local council or industry-specific organizations usually set your health and safety responsibilities for your staff. You will need to do your research to ensure that you have fulfilled all of your obligations to your employees to ensure that you are protected. There are several resources out there that can help, too, like the ones from HS Direct, ranging from a method statement template to risk assessments and COSHH assessments.
The Bottom Line
As a business, you have a duty of care to your employees, and that duty is non-negotiable; it is a legal requirement. Therefore, ensuring that you have taken your duty seriously simply makes sense in both a legal and a practical sense. Failing to fulfill your obligations can significantly impact all areas of the business, from a loss of customers to a loss of profit to less staff or a lower rate of staff retention.
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