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Your benefits of investing in occupational health and safety

Benefits of investing in health and safety
Saskia Duch

In connection to our #ConstructTheFuture Health & Safety lead event, our Services Product Manager Saskia Dutch delves deep into why it should be a priority for your business.

Burns, broken bones, electrocution, respiratory diseases, vibration or musculoskeletal disorders. This is just a small sample of the serious consequences that can result from day-to-day work on the jobsite. The reasons for this are diverse – from working with generators, power tools, machinery and electrical wiring to dust inhalation, working at height or failure to use appropriate protective gear.

Although the majority of people working in the industry care about health &safety, and are diligent in their work, the construction Industry remains one of the most dangerous sectors to work in and there are many contributing factors to accidents. Unfortunately, faulty equipment, human error, poor organisational structures, unskilled labour and a dangerous work environment are some of the reasons that serious accidents and fatalities are disproportionately high in the construction sector.

With the construction industry being at the forefront of industrial accidents, it becomes obvious that ongoing investment in occupational health & safety (OHS) makes sense on several levels.

 

WHY HEALTH & SAFETY SHOULD BE A PRIORITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS

In addition to the obvious impact on the injured worker, a poor health and safety record has consequences on several other levels: productivity, statutory regulations and reputational damage to the company. So, how can accidents and ill health have a negative impact on the company's productivity and financial performance?

·         Absence of the injured worker

·         Interruptions in production process

·         Re-organisation and/or renewal of work

·         Replacement of damaged material/equipment

·         Loss of orders/clients

·         Administrative effort around accident case analysis

·         Recruitment and additional pay for temporary staff

·         Increased insurance premiums

At the same time, there are a variety of non-tangible consequences of poor health &safety that affect Injured workers, work colleagues and ultimately the company overall:

·         For the victim: personal impact of the injury

·         For the colleagues: distress, job dissatisfaction and worry, especially in case of frequent health and safety issues

·         For the company: reputation and working climate hampered

Some statistics

Health & Safety industry stats
820,000 ~

of work-related ill health cases per year,
based in the UK construction industry alone

62 %

of all related ill-health cases
were musculoskeletal disorders

20 %

more new reported work-related illnesses
in construction than any other industries

1,062,000,000 GBP

is the estimated cost of workplace injury
along with new cases of work-related ill health in construction

The Austrian Workers’ Compensation Board found that an accident in construction causes costs on average of around £26,000. However – leaving all the financial implications aside – can we put a price tag on a person’s health? A caring employer would want the employees to arrive home safely after a day of work and retire in full health.

To improve the health & safety performance of your company you should invest in Occupational Health & Safety management (OHS). By doing so, you take active steps in managing occupational risks.

Here is a summary from the International Labor Organization on the success factors for OHS:

·         Implementation of preventive and protective measures is carried out in an efficient and coherent manner

·         Relevant policies are established

·         Commitments are made

·         Hazards and risks at workplaces are assessed and considered

·         Management and workers are involved in the process

In conclusion, a shift of focus onto the application of OHS management will minimise the damage caused by accidents and ill health stated above and so it’s crucial for any business to make this a priority. 


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