In 2016 to 2017 alone, work-related accidents and ill health cost UK employers £3 billion. Looking after the health and safety of your workforce isn’t just the right thing to do as a responsible employer; it also makes business sense. While health and safety procedure may not be the most exciting aspect of starting up a new business, if you get it wrong, there could be long-term and extremely expensive consequences for your company.
Risk Assessment And Training
Regardless of the size of your business, you must carry out regular assessments of your workplace, and ensure that risks are correctly monitored and measures are taken to offset any potential health and safety hazards. You must also ensure that the appropriate health and safety training and necessary safety equipment is provided to all employees. It is your responsibility as the employer to create a safe culture across your organisation that ensures that every employee, contractor and supplier is working to the same health and safety standards.
Overwork And Stress
Employee sickness has a huge impact on business costs and productivity. There has also been a considerable rise in the number of sick days taken due to mental health. But while the level of sickness absence has reached record lows, many employees continue to come into work despite being ill because of worry about their jobs. There is often considerable pressure on employees to work long hours or juggle a number of different roles at the same time. This can cause fatigue, sickness and workplace accidents. Creating a safe culture, and not overloading employees with unrealistic deadlines and a heavy workload is key to creating a safe work culture that helps to prevent ill-health and accidents.
Employers Liability Insurance
While protecting the health, safety and welfare of your employees must be a priority you also need to protect your business. As soon as you begin employing people, you must get Employers’ Liability insurance for your business that will cover your business for at least £5 million. This insurance will assist you if you are legally required to pay compensation to an employee who becomes ill or injured as a result of their job. If you are found to not be properly insured, then you could face fines of £2,500 for each day you aren’t adequately covered.
Take Appropriate Action
If there is an accident, the first thing you should do is get urgent medical attention to the employee. Get as much information as possible about what happened and record it in an accident log. If the employee has to take a considerable amount of time off work, you may have to pay statutory sick pay until they return to work. Once they are ready to come back to work, depending on their injury, the employee may need additional support to help them back into work.
Thousands of people are injured at work each year, costing businesses millions of lost workdays, loss of production, rising healthcare costs, and the additional staff required to cover those who are absent. But there is also a human cost too, as an injury doesn’t have to be fatal to be life-changing.