They say, Safety costs money! But does a good health and safety system really cost money?Each year employee accidents and ill-health cost British employers around £3.9 billion to £7.8 billion, of which £910 million to £3,710 million comes from accidental damage to property and equipment.
Setting the possible legal costs involved with work-related accidents and ill health aside, it's the hidden costs with the covering of absences, recruitment, training and effects on staff morale and your daily activities that really swallow an organisation's time and funds.
It's often assumed insurance will cover any financial losses. But policies generally fall short when it comes to costs involved in the general day to day running of a business and these shortfalls can be startling:
- Uninsured losses are ten times the cost of insurance premiums paid. (Source: HSE)
- Uninsured losses from accidents in smaller firms add up to £315 per employee, per year. (Source: Norwich Union Risk Services)
Since the introduction of the Sentencing Guidelines (2016) for Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences (and its environmental equivalent) we have seen the frequency of imprisonments increase and the fines increase at a frightening rate. Reflecting the seriousness both the government and the courts place on the health and safety of people. For the University potential fines for health and safety offences range from the low thousands to over £10m.
"By improving our health and safety management, we're protecting the health and safety of our employees, visitors to our sites and also our shareholders' investments" - Don Coates, Chief Executive, St Regis Paper Company, part of DS Smith PLC
Case studies show that there can be significant business benefits through the implementation of a good health and safety system. But the message is clear. Good health and safety systems not only make risk management sense, preventing you and the University from being prosecuted, they are also a sound investment in your people and subsequently to assisting prosperity.