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Can Focussing On Health And Safety Revitalise Your Construction Company?
3rd Mar 2015

Did you know that 75% of UK workers are too scared to complain about poor health and safety? That’s justone of the findings in a report by risk assessment specialists Protecting.co.uk.   

The overriding fear was one of being singled out as a troublemaker, and this means that there are dangerous situations in factories, shops and on construction sites going unreported on a daily basis. This is especially worrying for the construction industry, where according to the HSE’s latest figures, construction accounts for 22% workplace fatalities despite construction workers accounting for just 5% of the total UK workforce. If you’re not taking health and safety seriously, then as well as putting your current employees in danger, you could be putting your business at risk. As well as potential fines and prosecution, you’ll find it almost impossible to recruit highly sought after staff.
Investing in health and safety training can:
●       Empower both managers and supervisors to take ownership and make practical improvements to their departments and sites. This not only helps pass on knowledge to other employees but it raises the awareness of health and safety generally in the company.
●       Employee confidence improves because investment in health and safety shows the company takes their wellbeing seriously. Although H&S does have somewhat of a reputation, when you work in a potentially dangerous occupation such as construction, it would be worrying if a company didn’t actively promote safe working practices. Employees will find a focus on health and safety reassuring and will be a big pull factor in wanting to stay working for the company if they are ever tempted to leave.
●       Help you win new business: Having IOSH (Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) trained managers and supervisors can raise confidence of stakeholders in the company, showing that it is an organisation always striving to improve. Small details like these can be important when tendering for important contracts. If you don’t win new contracts, you can’t grow your business.
●       Result in significant cost reductions: These will be from a decrease in the number of accidents and sick pay having to be paid as well as the costs of replacing staff.
The good news is that there does seem to be a culture change regarding safety in the UK construction industry. In terms of major injuries, 2014 saw the lowest numbers ever recorded.  With an average rate of 177 major injuries per 100,000 people in previous years, 2014 saw this drop to 150 per 100,000 people.
Why not make your company’s attitude to health and safety something to shout about? In an increasingly competitive construction industry, this could be just the thing to differentiate you from your competitors, not just in terms of winning new business, but recruiting the best talent into your organisation. Which company would you rather work for? The one that was proud to display its health and safety record and investment in staff, or one that was quiet on the issue?
Until next time,