There is one massive cost to the UK economy that many people overlook when trying to plan for the future. Many of us do not realise that failings in health and safety are costing UK businesses billions of pounds every year. This astonishing loss to the UK economy comes from accident, injury and fatalities in the workplace. This costs lives and money needlessly, as in many cases the risks of accident and injury can be significantly reduced with the right health and safety measures in place.
Understanding the Costs
It is essential that everyone understands just how important health and safety is. Without this underpinning knowledge managers and workers can be inclined to overlook health and safety and not treat it very seriously. The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) offers a number of clear and easy to understand publications and campaigns on health and safety. This can help explain just how important this field is when it comes to reducing the risks of accident and injury in the workplace. Once everyone understands just how important health and safety is, and how many lives it can save, they will be more likely to follow new guidelines and ensure compliance.
Taking short cuts at work is a false economy. You may think you are saving time and money, but you could be sitting on an expensive time bomb. Cost-cutting can cost lives if it affects the safety of working practices and the working environment. Complying with health and safety legislation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Once the basic health and safety risk assessment has been carried out it will simply be a matter of following practical steps to reduce risks and minimise hazards. With improved health and safety management this should not cost companies very much and could save them a lot of money in the future by protecting against costly accidents and injuries.
Count the True Cost
Just one accident in the workplace could cost your business thousands of pounds. For example a simple slip and trip accident could result in a broken bone. The average time off sick for a fracture injury is anything from 4 to 8 months. Paying the wages for an injured worker during this time will result in thousands of pounds and you then need to add other costs such as:
- Wages for replacement cover for the injured worker
- Loss of production resulting from accident
- Loss of time for those managers and admin staff dealing with aftermath of accident
- Legal expenses
- Compensation from personal injuries claims
- Rises in employers liability insurance
Studies have shown that the total costs to businesses for the injury of just one worker could result in as much as between £30,000 and £60,000. Could your business afford this kind of cost for failings in health and safety?
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
IOSH courses and NEBOSH courses can help steer your business in the right direction. This can work towards ensuring compliance with health and safety legalisation and reducing the risks of accident and injury in the workplace.