Warren Buffett, who was recently named as the fourth wealthiest individual in the world, once said:
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
This is good advice that can be applied to many aspects of life, but it’s especially true when it comes to health and safety.
When an accident occurs there are of course measurable outlays: damage to equipment, loss of revenue and sick days caused by injuries. There are also intangible costs such as damage to reputation and/or a loss of trust in an organisation. So here are 3 good reasons to make health and safety your top priority in 2020:
1) Your reputation depends on it
A major accident often attracts media attention and public outcry. If the situation is not handled confidently and competently, this can easily translate into reputational damage. It is difficult to be precise about the cost of reputational damage to an organisation or company. However, Tim Ward, chief executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance says that the “total value of corporate reputation for all UK-listed companies could be worth as much as £1.7tn, or 28% of companies’ collective market value”.
One way to build trust in your organisation’s health and safety processes is to join the RoSPA Membership community. Having RoSPA Membership is so much more than something to display on your letterhead; it helps your organisation to continually improve its accident prevention polices, by gaining access to a wealth of health and safety knowledge, materials and benefits that’ll help your organisation stay compliant with current regulation and up-to-date on best practice.
2) Accidents cost money
It is often assumed that workplace accident costs are recoverable through insurance. This is a dangerous misconception. Accident and ill-health costs can be likened to an iceberg: costs that are recoverable are visible but those that are unrecoverable are hidden below the waterline and are many times greater. The HSE estimates the hidden cost of accidents can be up to 10 times greater than the insured costs. Uninsured costs can include:
- Lost time
- Sick pay
- Damage or loss of product and raw materials
- Repairs to plant and equipment
- Extra wages, overtime working and temporary labour
- Production delays
- Investigation time
- FFI or prosecution fines
- Loss of contracts and damage to reputation
- Legal costs.
To make sure you have a solid foundation to manage safety effectively, we offer a one-day Risk Assessment course which will help you carry out ‘suitable and sufficient’ assessments – thereby protecting employees ‘as far as is reasonably practicable’ and reducing the likelihood of unnecessary costs. The course is suitable for anyone with a responsibility for undertaking risk assessments, particularly line managers, supervisors and safety representatives.
3) It’s the Law
Still not convinced you should prioritise health safety? You should be – it’s the law. The Corporate Manslaughter Act in 2007 means that failure to meet your directors’ responsibilities for health and safety could now result in imprisonment. If you are a director, safety falls within your remit, and the law will therefore hold you accountable for any failings.
To make sure you stay compliant with the law, we offer a one-day Director Involvement course to teach you everything you need to know to monitor and review health and safety issues, as well as providing practical advice on driving forward health and safety strategy. The course is designed for directors, governors, trustees, officers and their equivalents in the private, public and voluntary sector.
Errol Taylor CDir FIoD FRSPH, CEO, RoSPA