The most easily recognisable reason for health and safety training is that the law requires it. 1974 saw the introduction of The Health and Safety at Work Act, which directs organisations to take the necessary practical measures to ensure the safety of all employees, with additional regulations and procedures required for specific industries and sectors.
Failing to adhere to health and safety laws is a serious offence that carries ever-increasing consequences. The UK Government is striving for a zero-tolerance approach to offenders and the fines for violations are growing each year. Not only can the fines cause severe financial distress to an organisation, but breaching these regulations can also lead to criminal prosecution. Aside from the direct fallout of such action, it can cause irrevocable damage to a business’s reputation – with existing and potential customers, employees, investors, partners, and suppliers. The impact of this reputational damage alone could result in the organisation no longer being able to operate.
Minimising Risk in the Workplace
When considering risk in the workplace, it is common to picture construction sites, manufacturing plants, and other large-scale physical-process operations. But even a quiet, traditional office setting has its risks, although it may seem safe in comparison. Slips, trips, and falls are the most commonly reported office-based health and safety incidents; but other hazards such as faulty equipment, unsecured hardware, poorly maintained infrastructure, and badly designed spaces pose a tremendous risk to safety in the workplace.
It’s vital to remember that no workplace is completely safe and health and safety training is crucial to prevent complacency creeping into an organisation’s health and safety procedures. Gaining leading certifications such as IOSH and NEBOSH results in a safer workplace by ensuring that health and safety efforts are seen as the ongoing processes that they are. This enables the identification, monitoring, and reduction of workplaces risks, and makes sure that all employees are aware of any issues so they can do their part in maintaining safer surroundings.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
Reputable health and safety training means learning how to use concise language and a distinct step-by-step structure to ensure that all organisational tasks are clearly defined, and simple for all to understand. This enables employees to complete their tasks more quickly and efficiently, as well as more safely. Another significant factor is that a safer workspace creates an environment in which employees can perform their work duties without worrying about unsafe conditions. This results in a higher level of focus, which contributes to an overall increase in organisational efficiency and productivity.
Reduced Operating Costs
Implementing the knowledge gained when earning health and safety certifications can also play a significant role in reducing organisational costs. We’ve already discussed how productivity can be increased, but another benefit of clear and concise operations is that it becomes easier to identify ways to reduce operating costs. When processes and procedures are streamlined, the time spent on tasks is reduced, and time is a very valuable resource. Working hours that are used more efficiently are more productive, and this reduces the drain on the organisation’s time by making optimum use of this precious resource.
Injury and illness in the workplace also have a severely negative impact on operations. Each employee has their own set of skills and abilities, which is why they were chosen for their role, and when they are absent from work due to illness or injury, the business loses out on what they bring to the organisation. This can slow down the required operations and that adversely affects operating costs. In some circumstances, temporary replacements are required and this too adds to the costs. But when effective health and safety measures are in place, the number of absences from work is notably reduced, which saves time and money and enables projects to continue without the loss of highly knowledgeable, skilled, and talented workers.
Ensuring that the proper measures are in place to safeguard employees also assist in avoiding the fines associated with breaching health and safety regulations. These fines can literally reach millions of pounds in the UK, and that doesn’t even include other related costs such as legal bills and court-awarded compensation for the injured party. Being a trained and certified health and safety professional means that you can make the difference between a company continuing to operate, and being crippled by preventable costs – which makes it easy to see why these roles can command average salaries of over £40,000, and why there are currently tens of thousands of positions available.
Health and safety is a necessary component of modern business, and gaining the most sought-after health and safety certifications will ensure that you are able to contribute to the successful operations of any organisation.