Why Manage Health & Safety?
A good business prospers not just because of good sales, quality etc, but also through managing all aspects of its operations. If health and safety is at the forefront of its processes and culture any business will succeed against competitors who focus on sales alone.
Not only will your accident record be reduced, your absenteeism will be reduced, the quality of your employees will be increased, your product quality will be improved, but more importantly over time, your reputation will grow.
By managing health and safety the generally unseen costs resulting from accident and ill health will be reduced and hopefully eliminated, i.e. the cost of absence through accidents, claims from injured persons, reduction of insurance costs and ultimately the avoidance of prosecutions and imprisonment following HSE enforcement action. All of which can drive a successful business to financial collapse through fines and poor public relations.
H & S Law: Employers' Responsibilities
All employers, businesses and companies have obligations under current health and safety legislation to protect employees and the public from health and safety risks created by their activities.
Each organisation has its own specific issues and duties arising from the type of business or industry and the particular type of work or operation it undertakes. ASM’s approach, as professional and experienced health and safety consultants, is to provide bespoke practical and effective solutions to these particular health and safety issues.
Every employer is required to appoint a competent person (or persons) to assist them to meet their legal health and safety obligations. This means an employer must appoint someone competent to provide sound advice on all matters of health and safety. We regard this as the first step and probably the most significant step that an employer can take when it comes to managing health and safety effectively. As professional health and safety consultants we can provide a competent person, or competent person support service, so that you are able to meet this most fundamental obligation.
Once there is proof that persons have been exposed to risk, an employer is liable to prosecution for a breach of the relevant legislation. Under health and safety legislation, unlike any other criminal legislation, the burden of proof rests with the employer to prove that there was no breach of law. The employer is guilty until they can prove otherwise. The only defence that an employee can manage is to demonstrate that they have done what would be regarded as “reasonably practicable” in the circumstances leading up to the incident. This means that the employer needs to be in a position at all times to be able to demonstrate that they have done what is reasonably practical in the circumstances with solid written evidence. Taking this concept a step further, this means that employers need to actively and effectively manage health and safety and keep relevant comprehensive records. Active management of health and safety will reduce the hazards and the risks in the first instance.
The ASM Relationship
What will you get from building a long-term relationship with ASM? Over time you will see a reduction in the number of accidents and incidents across all sections of your operations. The severity of incidents will decrease to a point where you will be monitoring near miss instances and implementing procedures to ensure accidents are a thing of the past. You will improve your systems of work and SHE practices which will have a great reflection on the manner in which your staff operate. This will inevitably improve your relations with customers, as they will see that you operate high safety standards and do not accept second best.
As a result of your improving record and the ability to demonstrate the systems of work and procedures in place, you may be able to reduce your insurance costs. You will also be better placed to defend and show how you manage health and safety if you face legal action against the directors in connection to personnel injury claims and/or prosecutions.
The main benefit is the improved and increased focus you will see from your employees which, including the benefits listed above, will also reduce absence, increase the business efficiency, improve quality, general employee knowledge, and increase employee efficiency. More importantly, it will reduce the chance of accidents connected to the organisation’s undertakings.