Health and safety laws are guidelines that are developed to ensure that safety procedures in the workplace are followed. These laws can relate to anything from the handling of toxic materials to working at heights to working in confined spaces.
Why are these health and safety regulations so important? Laws regarding health and safety are necessary for a number of reasons.
Accidents Can Cause Injury or Death
One of the most important reasons why health and safety laws are so important is because an accident can result in serious injury or even death for an employee. According to government statistics, there were 173 UK workers killed on the job in 2011/2012. There were also 111,000 injuries reported during that period. Danger can come in many forms depending on the workplace, including fire, toxic substances, machinery and falls from height.
Whether they are construction workers performing their job at height, operators of heavy machinery or factory workers, every employee has the right to do their job without risk of injury or death. Health and safety is important for safeguarding the lives of these workers for their sake as well as for their family and friends.
Health and Safety Laws – Accidents are Costly
It is in the best interest of a company to follow health and safety procedures and perform a task properly, because an accident that results from violating health and safety regulations can be very expensive for the business.
It is estimated that 26.4 million working days were lost in the UK in 2010/2011 due to work-related illness and injury. These absences decrease productivity and negatively affect the bottom line of the company. Also, accidents also involve the cost of repairs to equipment as well as any legal fees from a claim that might result.
If your company is paying a higher cost due to accidents and higher insurance premiums, it will be much more difficult to compete in the global marketplace. It makes good business sense to follow health and safety regulations and keep the workplace functioning smoothly.
Accidents are Bad Press
Another reason why health and safety laws are important for a company is that an accident not only puts a worker in danger and costs money but it also puts the company in a very negative light. When the details of the incident are made public, it gives the impression that the company is neglectful and does not care about the safety and well-being of its employees. Many people might also assume that the company is lacking in other ways and their perception of its products and services can be negatively affected.
There is no need to let an accident tarnish the reputation of a great company, as long as health and safety laws are followed.
Accidents are Bad for Morale
How do employees feel when their health and safety is not taken into account? If employees are being asked to work in situations that compromise their health or their safety, this can be incredibly demoralising and can breed frustration. Not paying any attention to health and safety shows workers that the management doesn’t care about what happens to them. Installing safe equipment and having proper working procedures shows employees respect and builds morale.
These are just a few of the reasons why health and safety laws are so important, for both employees and managers within the workplace.
Health and safety laws are a big deal, but why are they so important? These regulations make a serious difference to both employees and management.