Why Good Health & Safety is Good for Business
By Ian Crook on September 11, 2021
Has COVID made you complacent to other workplace risks?
How demonstrating a fair presentation of all workplace risks could save you money on insurance premiums
For many businesses, adapting to a new way of working has now become the norm. Following the initial uncertainties after lockdown, in order to reopen safely and give reassurance to staff and customers, most businesses are now operating under the Government’s COVID-secure working guidelines.
While having confidence in a COVID-secure workplace is important, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently indicated that while the management of COVID-19 remains a clear focus for employers, they must not become complacent to ‘basic’ workplace risks either.
COVID-19 does not remove an employers’ legal obligation to ensure health and safety compliance, and any measures brought in to ensure a safe return to work, should not be at the detriment of other health and safety protocols.
This means employers should continue to identify all hazards within their workplace and take steps to control the risks arising from those hazards. Plus, if you have five or more employees, The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that – by law – you’re required to record the outcome of these risk assessments in writing.
Good health and safety is good for business
For most business owners, ensuring that their staff and visitors are not facing unnecessary risks in the workplace should be considered as a high priority. Assessing health and safety risks and making improvements to processes and workplace infrastructure is a clear demonstration that employers have a greater interest in their employees’ wellbeing.
In the current climate, dealing with a workplace incident can be more challenging. As we return to our places of work, resources have been stretched for most organisations, and a workplace incident can add to this pressure, as staff absence and the resources to investigate or make repairs could be harder to find.
The understanding of health and safety should be built through ongoing risk management in the workplace and, aside from fulfilling legal obligations, undertaking a general assessment of health and safety risks can have more far-reaching benefits too.
When you demonstrate commitment to staff safety and wellbeing, the effects of reduced absences and sick leave plus improved morale, motivation and retention have obvious positive impacts on productivity and therefore profit. Add this to savings in insurance premiums and claims, plus a more positive reputation to help drive sales, then the benefits of good health and safety management are clear.
Proactive safety management keeps you ahead of the game
Simple changes that make health and safety tasks easier, and improve working conditions, are often appreciated by employers and employees alike, and can pay dividends to workplace culture and morale.
Elizabeth Turley, Managing Director at SHEQ Site, a business service consultancy that specialises in health and safety says: “When I first started undertaking risk assessments, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information required in order to encompass an entire workplace. I got caught up in the details and quickly realised that it is certainly true that as a business owner, you don’t know what you don’t know!
“Undertaking a risk assessment in a small business can often be perceived as a challenge – particularly if it is the first time that a workplace has been risk assessed and the person undertaking the assessments hasn’t got a health and safety background. Not only do you have to consider all of the hazards and risks within the work area, but the assessment needs to be communicated and understood by others who use the space. A tool like CHEQS can really help to identify risks, and walk you through the steps to remove and mitigate them.”
One of the benefits that carrying out a workplace risk assessment can bring is that it will very often promote conversations within the workplace about the tasks that are undertaken there.
The opportunity to discuss everyday activities is often welcomed, allowing workers to demonstrate their experience and knowledge in relation to the tasks they complete. This engagement can also generate ideas and lead to changes that increase quality and productivity.
Demonstrate a fair presentation of risk and save on insurance
According to The Insurance Act 2015, which forms the basis of a business’ relationship with their insurer, the ‘duty of fair presentation of risk’ helps to define the kind of information that a business owner must provide to their insurer, and the actions that an insurer can take if a business fails to disclose something important.
This can have a direct impact on a business owner’s insurance policy. It could even lead to an insurer voiding a policy if they feel that the business owner failed to make a fair presentation of risk, either deliberately or recklessly.
On the flip side, ensuring that a thorough risk assessment has been carried out can have a positive impact on business insurance premiums, as Steven Darrah, Founder of insurance broker – Fuelled -explains: “One of the factors that drives insurance premiums, particularly in the Employers & Public Liability sections, is the duty of care that companies take towards their employees and the public.
“Businesses that can demonstrate a positive and proactive approach to Health & Safety generally tend to look more attractive to an insurer, which in turn encourages the application of discounts attributed to a reduction in ‘risk’”.
Steven continues: “Being able to evidence measures such as regular site audits, risk assessments and Health & Safety audits can really benefit a company when it comes to the insurance premium. Utilising software designed specifically for tracking and completing appropriate risk management features, like CHEQS, is the best way to be able to evidence these to an insurer.”
CHEQS helps you achieve and maintain health and safety compliance
If you’re a small or medium sized business, the risk management tool from CHEQS can help you easily meet your Health & Safety obligations, at an affordable price.
It enables you to identify the hazards that exist in your workplace, the associated risk level with each of those hazards and the measures that should be taken to avoid, remove or mitigate the risks.
The health & safety risk assessment tool from CHEQS was designed specifically for small businesses, and helps by:
- Guiding you through best-practice approaches to identify and manage risks in your workplace
- Providing a simple workflow, including assigning actions and checks
- Developing a straightforward health and safety culture for your business
- Instantly generating risk assessment reports in a format well-recognised by industry professionals
- Providing a cloud-based system, replacing the outdated paper-based process for better data security, direct access and freeing up some space in your filing cabinet
- Improving health & safety management and control for multi-site operations
- Reducing compliance costs including, potentially, your insurance premiums
- Increasing your knowledge and helping you sleep at night
For more information about CHEQS, and to try the software free for 14-days, visit https://bit.ly/2TkhVqS.