Health and Safety Training – A business investment!

With the changing times and the pandemic clawing at everyone’s mental and physical health, more and more depression and suicide cases are coming forward. Many people are losing jobs and getting lesser or no pays at all. Businesses are trying to brush all kinds of necessary safety cultures, they once practiced under the rug.

Why did businesses ignore h&s training in 2020?

Because:

a) It seems rather difficult to gather all employees in one room keep the SOPs in mind, esp.

b) With or without the SOPs, conducting health and safety trainings and discussions seem like a waste of money to too many

However, poor health and safety management system can cost businesses not just monetarily but also legally.

According to the Health and Safety Executive survey in Great Britain (2017/18), annual costs of work-related injuries reached up to £15 billion. All this could have been minimized or avoided if those businesses had invested in their health and safety departments.

Direct costs due to health and safety injuries include:

  • Equipment damage
  • Rising Premiums
  • Insurance Claims

Indirect costs due to health and safety injuries include:

  • Higher absenteeism
  • Decreased staff morale
  • Minimized staff turnover
  • Recruitment costs and additional employment

Root problem discovered via survey

As per a survey conducted by IOSH in collaboration with YouGov, in 2019-20, to survey small and medium-sized businesses. The reason for the survey was to ensure that small and medium-scale business managers had the necessary health and safety knowledge and skills to ensure their team’s well being.

Approximately 700 managers and supervisors were interviewed, as their decisions influence everyone’s safety, health, and welfare. The key findings are as follows:

  • 96% agreed that line managers are responsible to ensure their direct employees’ health and safety in a workplace
  • 83% agreed that active staff involvement improved the workplace’s safety due to external courses
  • 82% understood and agreed that external courses for line managers benefit their business
  • 79% agreed that an improved organization-wide safety awareness culture is due to external courses

 A positive safety culture builds an organization’s reputation

A poor health and safety system doesn’t just impact an organisation financially or legally but also ends up affecting the company’s brand and reputation. An accident or legal ruling can undermine the company’s image in front of customers, suppliers, and prospective employees.

Good health and safety management:

  • Influences positive internal growth within the team
  • Has a high work and productivity morale amongst employees
  • Supports better engagement and communication with employees and customers

How to implement a good health and safety policy and turn training into investments?

If you have been paying attention, you already know that by law – all employers are legally bound to provide not the PPE to their employees but also an appropriate amount of knowledge regarding the type of work they are doing.

For example, if someone is working on removing asbestos then the ukata asbestos awareness online course is quite famous and highlights the general information necessary for them as per the HSE. Such training will keep your workers safe and healthy which in turn will lead to a lower amount of absenteeism. Due to the training, your employees will also feel valued and trust you with their problems and thus, you will be able to not just retain them but also make keep happy.

With this said, it is essential to take into account the number of days you will not have to face legal prosecutions because you did get them a safety training, your company will have a positive safety culture, employees will be able to discuss their problems at work with you, due to a lower rate of absenteeism you will have a higher productivity rate as well.

Here’s a list of things you can do to implement a safety culture in your office and make the most out of it:

1. Convert Classroom training into an online one!

Getting a health and safety expert to deliver classroom training might sound classy but the results surely aren’t. Most people attend such training because they are forced to take them or as a relief to their daily routine. There’s no way for you to e sure that they listened to the lecture and learnt something out of it.

By either converting classroom training into online ones or getting an online health and safety training courses from a provider will help you enhance employee skills by ensuring they paid attention and passed the end test presented after the completion of a course. You can also opt to have your training courses created as per your requirements if you want.

2. Revise the h&s policy on annual basis and ask your employees to help

Just like the HR policy is updated and revised for employees annually, make it a habit to go through the H&S requirements and then creating policies as per them on annual basis. Sure, you can just copy-paste the health and safety policy from your next-door company or even the internet but that wouldn’t help you in the long run.

Why? Because they will not have been custom-made keeping your employees and their problems in mind. The easiest way around it is to have a few h&s based questions included in your annual review meeting templates beforehand so that when you do have a one-on-one with your workers you can ask about their safety concerns and work on those.

3. Hire a Health and Safety Officer for better results

Hiring a health and safety officer takes responsibility off of the employers and HR. An HR person can not manage two roles perfectly and shouldn’t have to as well!

By getting a dedicated person for the health and safety of your staff would have a direct impact and save time as well as minimise risks and threats.

4. Create a checklist available to all employees to minimise accidents

The h&s officer or you can create checklists for employees, to reduce risks of accidents which may lead to absenteeism and legal prosecutions as well!

Having an e-checklist could be a better way to go about it, just paste the QR code on employee desks,  main entrances and important points of contact for everyone to scan and read whenever necessary. Checklists can also help workers see which machinery has been checked and cleared for work & which ones need to be tightened, worked on etc.

5. Promote engagement and communication – set up a box

You can also have a ballot box policy at your office. Instead of asking employees what they think of the safety culture and policy – ask them for the advice! This will help promote engagement and set up communication regarding the safety culture at work.

They can just slip in their worries and suggestions for you to resolve in time. With this said, now, you have ample information to make an investment in for the future of your company today!