Health and Safety is an often-overlooked component in job satisfaction. This is perhaps because of the fact that it is taken as a given, and because it is something that you only notice when it is not taken care of. However, this doesn’t mean it is any less important. A positive, proactive approach to health and safety can have tangible business benefits, and below we will outline some of them.
People are more productive if they feel safe
For better or worse, our jobs are an important part of our life. If we feel like our place of work is perilous, or if we suspect we are not being taken care of properly by our employees, we will not be able to put our all into our work. Research has consistently shown that if we feel safe in our work, and if there is no unnecessary threat to our health and safety, we will be more productive. One example will illustrate this point. Stress is an increasingly important health and safety consideration, and it has been shown that stress can lead to poor health, lower productivity and lost workdays through illness. According to psychological theory, one common stressor is worry about safety, for example due to a poorly managed and dangerous working environment. It follows that if your ensure a positive health and safety culture in your business, the above things will be minimized.
The bottom line: it will increase your bottom line
A positive health and safety culture can also boost your profits in a number of ways. Most obviously, if your workers are continually having accidents, they will not be able to work, which will cost your business. More rigid health and safety guidelines will also ensure that your staff have fewer absences and less sick leave. These things can also have other indirect effects: the best staff will want to work for your company, your business will retain these staff, and your business will create a reputation for positive practices, which can help boost your profit in a number of ways, through increased productivity and consumer confidence. Compared with less careful business, you will also save money on legal costs as a result of health and safety claims.
It will be good for your brand and consumer relations
We mentioned before that health and safety is something that you only notice when something goes wrong. An accident or health and safety violation in your workplace can only bring bad publicity, and this will be bad for your brand, and lead to your customer base losing trust. You will find out that the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity is actually false. It follows logically that to practice a positive health and safety culture can ensure that you business has a reputation for ethical operation and that your customers know that you care for your employees and you are not just out to make a buck regardless of the consequences. Countless health and safety authorities agree.
“Directors must have an understanding of the role safety performance plays in the performance of their business. In accepting corporate responsibility for health and safety, directors need to be proactive in developing a positive safety culture for their workplace. In the long-term this leads to an internal cultural shift that can have an indirect impact on brand loyalty.” according to David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Effective Software
As we have seen, a positive health and safety culture can be great for business. It can make your workers happier, and they will be more productive. As well as this, you can boost your profits by promoting a positive health and safety culture. Finally, you can boost public confidence in your brand. Seems like a no brainer.
James Hughes is a freelance HR consultant and writer. After working for several high profile businesses in the city, James is now supporting businesses through difficult times as an independent consultant