When starting a company, there are many things to think about. You need to look into your financing options for opening the business as well as make sure you stay afloat thanks to proper cash flow. Moreover, you have to look for suitable premises and employees in addition to tending to your clients’ needs.
Taking care of all these aspects of running a business can sometimes be overwhelming, but you cannot forget to think about the safety of your employees as well as visitors. Depending on your field of work, you need to look into implementing the right procedure for your company. A safety program is crucial for the smooth sailing of your operations.
However, just because you have a safety program, it does not mean that it is good. You cannot do this superficially, as it can result in many unplanned costs. Make health and safety a priority in your company. Do not skip routine maintenance inspections or the cleaning schedule. These things might seem trivial but can be detrimental to your business. Here are some expenses and consequences of having a poor safety program.
Risk of injury
Around 2.78 million people die every year from work-related incidents and illnesses while 374 million experience non-fatal accidents, according to a report by the Workplace Safety and Health Institute (WSH) in Singapore and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in Finland. These statistics should be enough for you to realize the importance of having an effective safety program.
It is important to provide all your employees with proper training. They have to know exactly how to use their equipment, how to deal with hazardous materials, where the fire exits are etc.
Moreover, it is your duty to supply them with the latest protective gear, no matter what the working conditions are. If you own a construction company, it is important to limit the distraction to your employees as well as protect the passers-by.
Secure your worksite by using a high-quality shade cloth fence which offers privacy and stops the debris from exiting the construction area. In case you work in an office, make sure you have the best ergonomic equipment money can buy and ensure all protocols are well understood.
Furthermore, you cannot forget about workers’ compensation insurance. This should cover the medical expenses and wages of the injured personnel. Equipping the workplace might seem expensive to you, but the costs of not having insurance are much higher and you do not need that kind of expenditure.
On the other hand, if you decide against getting workers’ compensation, the injured worker or their family can take legal action against you. They can sue your company for the tort of negligence.
Moreover, it is not just your employees who can sue you. Anyone who was injured on your premises has the right to start a lawsuit against you. For example, in 2015, the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster crashed and the park’s owners were fined five million pounds. Moreover, the victims also decided to sue the company on their own as they sustained serious injuries.
If the courts decide that it was your fault, you could be dealing with a huge expense. In addition, if it is established that you neglected your legal responsibilities of providing a safe environment, you could also be facing jail time.
Your reputation is a big part of your success. It helps you gain investors, partners and clients as well as attract top talent. If word gets out about your lack of safety procedures, your reputation can be damaged.
The PR costs of trying to remedy the situation can be massive and, unfortunately, futile. The news can spread quite quickly if the media run the story, which could result in your existing and potential clients and partners leaving you. They do not want to be associated with a business that has a poor reputation. Moreover, your staff might leave and it could be quite difficult to find replacements.
Do not underestimate the consequences this can have, as many businesses lose a lot of money due to this issue while some are even forced to shut down.
Loss of productivity
In case there is an incident at the workplace, another setback you’re likely to face is lost time. An injured employee will not work for a certain period of time. That means that you will either have to hire a temporary replacement or have other workers cover that portion of the job.
Moreover, right after the accident, people will probably stop working to help the injured co-worker. The incident will need to be investigated and a certain area of the site might even be cordoned off while everything is cleaned up.
Depending on the type of business, this interruption may be costly as it can result in huge delays. If any of the machinery was damaged, it could take time to replace it. In case any parts of the premises were destroyed, rebuilding or finding a suitable replacement usually cannot happen overnight.
If your employees feel unsafe at work, their morale and productivity are bound to decrease. The possibility of them leaving your company is great if they don’t feel valued.
This means that you will have to look for new employees. That can cost you valuable time, which can lead to delays in projects as well as general workplace disruption. Additionally, keep in mind that you need to train your new employees before they can start working.
Training new employees every few months does not pay off. It’s better to invest in your safety program right away, train your workers properly and make them feel safe.
As you can see, a poor safety program can have damaging consequences for your company. That is why prevention is your best course of action. Train your employees, perform regular check-ups of your machinery, get proper insurance and make sure everyone stays safe.
By investing time and money in creating a quality safety program, you will save a lot in the long run.