Create a positive Health and Safety culture at your workplace in 2021

It’s that time of year again when we’re either congratulating ourselves on still keeping up with our New Year’s Resolutions or quietly hoping that no one else will notice we’ve already let them slide.

Maybe being stuck indoors a lot recently has made you determined to get more exercise this year or maybe you want to shed the pounds after eating lots of chocolate over the holidays.

There are lots of positive things we can all do to improve the quality of our lives but if you’re a company owner there is one key thing you can do this year to improve the lives of everyone at your workplace and that’s create a positive Health and Safety culture at your business.

Why should I create a positive Health & Safety culture?

For years, many businesses thought that Health & Safety was only something for organisations with high-risk positions to worry about, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Figures recently released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that in 2019/2020 around 693,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries and 1.6 million workers suffered from work-related ill-health across a range of different industries.

Breaches of Health & Safety law can not only lead to tragic consequences for the individuals involved but also to significant fines for businesses and the threat of custodial sentences for company directors and managers.

It is not uncommon to find in workplaces with a negative safety culture that employees feel pressured to break safety rules to meet deadlines or production goals. This may help the company in the short-term but if something goes wrong such a course of action could lead to devastating consequences.

It’s vital that any Health & Safety culture starts at the top of the organisation and runs throughout it so that employees feel confident to raise any concerns they may have. Everyone should take responsibility for Health & Safety. This is not about creating a blame culture but a workplace where everyone is accountable when it comes to Health & Safety.

If your employees see Health & Safety is a priority it will not only reassure them but make them feel valued.

How can I create a positive Health & Safety culture?

Make sure you have comprehensive Health & Safety policies in place that are enforced and that these are communicated clearly to all members of your staff.

A comprehensive policy should show what’s expected of employees and what the consequences are for non-compliance. It should show employees how they can report their concerns and indicate how their concerns will be dealt with.

You should also ensure you have a comprehensive safety training programme for your staff that regularly refreshes their knowledge. In addition, you may want to create some formal way of recognising good examples of Health & Safety practices in your organisation.

How can Acorn Safety Services help?

We know that busy company owners can find it difficult to manage their Health & Safety requirements alongside the daily running of their operations. However, we also know the risks they face from fines, prosecutions and damage to their reputation – not to mention the human cost – if they fail to manage their Health & Safety requirements properly and something goes wrong.

That’s why one of the services we offer is our Retained Health and Safety Consultant Service. This helps firms to protect themselves from costly breaches and the burden of dealing with Health & Safety regulations without the expense of employing a full-time member of staff.

We can help your business become health and safety compliant in the shortest time possible, supporting company owners, their organisation and their employees on an ongoing basis.

We do all the hard work for you, so all you need to do is choose which support package works best for you and you’ll be health and safety compliant in no time.

If you need health and safety advice visit http://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.

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Ian Stone