The importance of a good H&S management system

A good health & safety management system comprises of a series of practical policies, plans and procedures which reflect business operations and create a fundamental system designed to reduce risk and protect people.

It is a legal requirement for a business employing five or more staff to have a documented health and safety policy and documented risk assessments.  

The importance of a robust and comprehensive health & safety management system can be categorised into the following areas: Moral, Legal and Financial.

Moral

Positive attitudes towards safety can help to improve workplace culture and generate a better understanding of risk within the team. Business owners have a moral responsibility to keep their people safe. A good health and safety management system can help minimise risk and protect against accidents in the workplace. It is not acceptable for anyone to be hurt or fatally injured at their place of work. Implementing a health and safety system can help to reduce accidents and boost morale within the business.

Legal

A documented health and safety management system will help to ensure compliance with H&S law; therefore, reducing the opportunity for criminal or civil legal action for breaches resulting in fines, imprisonment, remedial orders or compensation pay-outs. A comprehensive system will also allow you to create a holistic and joined up approach to your health and safety management by helping to bring all legal compliance requirements together such as CoSHH and Fire

Financial

Keeping people healthy and safe in their workplace generates positive PR for businesses, especially within high-risk industries such as agriculture. Positive public relations can help to increase productivity, profitability and business growth, whilst also creating opportunities within new markets and supply chains. Providing evidence of a well-documented health and safety management system may, once established, also lower your insurance premiums within the business.

Positive attitudes and workplace culture can also help with staff motivation, absenteeism and retention. When implemented effectively, a good system can help businesses protect against costs associated with poor practice such as; FFI, fines, increased insurance premiums, negative PR and remedial costs.

A good health and safety management system helps business owners meet and exceed the minimum legal requirement, providing multiple financial benefits and the ability to fulfil moral responsibilities. Having a management system in place supports the day to day running of your business, and during unprecedented times of crisis such as this, a system that is tried and tested is all the more critical.

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