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The high cost of neglecting health & safety: A wake-up call for business owners

Neglecting your health & safety can be costly for your business. Get essential tips to protect your team...

First published on Monday, Jun 17, 2024

Last updated on Monday, Jun 17, 2024

4 min read

From choking incidents in care homes to cattle rampages on farms, 2023 saw a whole load of bizarre health & safety incidents make the headlines.

But it’s not just freak incidents that businesses have to worry about. Even hazards as small as faulty wiring or slippery floors can cost you thousands of pounds when accidents happen.

In 2023 alone, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gave out a whopping £35.8 million in fines for health & safety breaches in the UK.

So, what are the risks of health & safety breaches, and how can you prevent yourself from landing in legal hot water? Read on to find out…

Financial penalties: The price of complacency

The first, perhaps most obvious consequence of a health & safety breach is getting fined by the HSE. Recent examples of huge fines imposed on care homes and other businesses in the UK serve as a stern reminder of what’s at stake.

Take, for instance, the Springfield Bank Care Home in Scotland, which had to pay £400,000 following the death of a vulnerable resident. Or Bodmin dairy farm in Cornwall, which had to cough up a staggering £60,000 when one of its workers fell more than 20 feet through a roof onto a concrete floor.

Reputation damage: Trust lost, clients gone

Neglecting health & safety can tarnish a business’s reputation in more ways than one. News of accidents, injuries, and fatalities can spread quickly, eroding trust among clients, employees, and the public.

A single incident can lead to negative media coverage, social media backlash, and a damaged brand image. In the worst-case scenario, your customers might even hesitate to work with you and seek alternative companies that prioritise safety.

Read more about health & safety scandals that hit the headlines in our latest guide 5 Lessons in HR and Health & Safety: Actionable tips for avoiding costly slip-ups.

Legal battles: Lawsuits and compensation claims

When health & safety failings result in harm, legal battles follow. Employees, residents, or their families may file compensation claims against the business.

Legal fees, settlements, and court proceedings drain resources and distract from core operations. Investing in a robust health & safety system can help you keep an accurate and secure record of your safety procedures, giving you better peace of mind. Seeking a system that offers round-the-clock health & safety advice is also advisable, to learn how to prevent costly legal entanglements.

Lost productivity: Absenteeism and reduced efficiency

On top of the personal cost of accidents and injuries; if your staff get hurt at work it can also disrupt workflow. Employees injured on the job require time off for recovery, affecting productivity. Moreover, unsafe conditions lead to absenteeism, reduced morale, and decreased efficiency.

A proactive health & safety approach minimises disruptions, keeps employees healthy, and maintains productivity levels.

How to shield your business against health & safety risks with BrightSafe

Luckily for you and your business, these are consequences that can be easily avoided with the right health & safety management system in place.

Introducing BrightSafe: Your all-in-one health & safety tool! Instead of taking an ad-hoc approach, BrightSafe helps you make sure you’re protected against all present and future risks. Use our end-to-end software and advisory service to:

  • Complete risk assessments
  • Maintain hazard reporting
  • Stay compliant with your health & safety obligations
  • Keep records proving your health & safety compliance
  • Make use of time-saving document templates from handbooks and manuals to policies and method statements
  • Boost staff awareness of health & safety with comprehensive e-learning courses
  • Delegate health & safety responsibilities and tasks to staff members
  • Get better peace of mind with 24/7 advice from experienced safety professionals

Need more support staying on top of your health & safety responsibilities?

Safeguard your business from 600+ health & safety risks and tick off compliance with accident and hazard reporting software.

Because having a robust health and safety management system isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. Discover BrightSafe’s award-winning software and support today.

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